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Apr
2013
8

“Kentucky’s serious injury rate rose by 11% after the repeal of their prevailing wage law.”

Last week we highlighted a Dale Belman article which discussed a University of Utah study that supported prevailing wages. The topic is hot in Michigan as anti-worker legislators take aim at this important protection.

Now, Michigan’s Laborers’ Union-affiliated Labor-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust (LECET) has weighed in on the debate with some striking facts that we could not help but share. Debunking the myth of heightened project cost has already taken place — see Belman’s piece, for one — but information about safety, training and hiring practices is less discussed. Michigan’s LECET addresses these aspects in their post:

-In a study comparing Kansas with 15 other Plains states, serious injury rates in construction rose by 21% after repeal of the prevailing wage law.

-Kentucky’s serious injury rate rose by 11% after the repeal of their prevailing wage law.

-After repeal of their prevailing wage law, Kansas saw their apprenticeship-training fall by 38%.

-After the prevailing wage law was repealed in Kentucky, minorities in construction apprenticeship fell by 19%.

These number can not be editorialized (though I’m sure anti-wage actors in Michigan and elsewhere will find a way). The prevailing wage is not only a protection against abusive wage practices, but safety and workforce development neglect as well.

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