The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, November 24, 2017

Save prevailing wage: Time to contact state reps

By The Building Tradesman

LANSING - With the conclusion of the petition drive intended to repeal the Michigan Prevailing Wage Act, the focus turns to the counting of the signatures. That will likely be followed by counting votes in the Michigan Legislature.

The signature counting will take place in the offices of the Michigan Bureau of elections, but the lobbying will need to take place from the living rooms of supporters of prevailing wage.  Republicans enjoy a 63-47 majority over Democrats in the state House, and a 27-11 majority in the Senate, and only a handful of those GOP lawmakers support the state's prevailing wage law. 

It is hoped that a few more lawmakers' minds can be changed by phone calls and emails of building trades union members and their families. 

"The argument in favor of prevailing wage is simple: Don't cut our wages, don't make our industry less safe, and don't open up our industry to out-of-area contractors paying below-market wages," said Patrick Devlin, secretary-treasurer of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. "Our workforce is really fighting for our livelihoods here."

To find your lawmaker, go to and click on the "Our Issues" tab for an easy way to make your feelings known to your state senator or House member. 

“Individual phone calls, e-mails and letters by our members to state House lawmakers are the most effective way to lobby them,” said Devlin.