Monday, June 11, 2018

Prevailing RAGE: Union Dems Furious As Legislature Repeals Prevailing Wage Law

By Brandon Hall
(Email Him At

The legislature repealed Michigan's prevailing wage law last week, dealing another major blow to the political power of union Democrats just 6 years after Gov. Snyder signed Right To Work into law.

In many cases, the prevailing wage law required municipalities to pay higher prices  for construction projects. Supporters say the law helped workers.

"Michigan’s leaders should be able to negotiate contracts based on what’s best for Michigan, not what’s best for big union bosses,"  Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser said in a press release.

Union leaders have been going ballistic, and they say Republicans will pay a political price for hurting workers.

The issue would have been voted on by the people in November if not passed by the legislature.

According to Dave Eggert of the AP:

"The Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature on Wednesday rescinded the state’s decades-old law that guarantees higher wages for construction workers on government projects, quickly enacting the repeal initiative rather than letting it go to a public vote. 

Though Gov. Rick Snyder opposed the measure, it was veto-proof because it was initiated through a ballot drive by nonunion contractors. The prevailing wage law requires paying the local wage and benefit rate — usually union scale — on state-financed construction of schools, university dorms and other public works projects.

Michigan is the fifth conservative-led state to annul its prevailing wage law since 2015. The repeal will take effect immediately but not affect existing contracts.

“The time has come to eliminate this outdated law and save our taxpayers money,” said Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, a West Olive Republican who has long pushed to repeal the measure that was enacted in 1965. Other GOP lawmakers called the law a government-mandated “carve-out” and a “price-fixing scheme.” 

Democrats voted against the legislation , saying it will result in lower paychecks and that it makes no sense as Michigan tries to address a shortage of tradespeople.

Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics.

>>>Email him at


  1. Per the last sentence above, someone understanding basic economics will see clearly that if Michigan has a shortage of tradespeople and a constant or rising level of projects requiring those same tradespeople, wages will go up without government intrusion through artificial “prevailing wage” fiats. I suppose unions fear that sensible people will not need a prevailing wage law—nor, perhaps, union bargaining power—to get high wages. Follows that unions will lose members, which just might cut through to why, really, unions oppose rescinding prevailing wage law.

  2. The democrats ARE aware of the fact that the federal prevailing wage law is still in effect?

    But since democrats have always consider Blue Collar voters "disposable" when it comes to forcing affordable health care insurance down everyone's throat, numerous tax hikes to pay for their multiple social engineering programs and higher fees for licenses (as well as even requiring licenses to even work in the first place)...methinks doth protest too much!

  3. republicans once again reward joe sixpack for his support.... by kicking him in the teeth.