Signature gatherers are expected to be fanning out across Michigan this summer, asking registered voters to sign a petition intended to repeal the Prevailing Wage Act of 1965.
Backed by billionaires who think the state's construction workers earn too much money, they have 180 days to collect 252,523 signatures - 3 percent of the state's voting population - to put prevailing wage repeal legislation before the Michigan Legislature for a vote. They're trying to go around a likely veto by Gov. Rick Snyder, who has said he doesn't support prevailing wage repeal. But Snyder would not be able to exercise a veto under this plan.
Who knows what lies the paid signature gatherers are going to spout to get people to sign: "more money for schools" or "save Michigan $250 million a year" are likely to be heard. The truth is, there's ample real-world and academic evidence that prevailing wage repeal won't save taxpayers a dime, but will cost the state's construction workers dearly.
If you want lower wages, less-safe jobsites, increased competition from out-of-state contractors, a system of poorly trained apprentices, and a generally screwed-up construction industry that joins the rest of our economy's race to the bottom, then go ahead and sign the petition.
But if you want a Michigan construction industry that values higher wages, safety, and training - DON'T SIGN THE PETITION, AND URGE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME!