By Al Bond, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Carpenters Regional Council and Brian Murphy, President of BAM Construction
In the construction industry, we get to work with many remarkable veterans who come home to Missouri and literally build up their communities. People like Danny Burlison and Eric Phillippe, who are veterans, construction workers, and fathers.
Danny served our country in the US Navy, then came home to Springfield where he’s worked as a carpenter on public building projects in his community. One of the buildings he worked on was the high school his three kids attended. You can bet that he made sure that those buildings were well built and safe.
Eric is an Army veteran, and father of two who is now back in northwest Missouri. He’s worked on public buildings in his community, including schools as well. He’s also in the volunteer fire department.
Both Danny and Eric and their families rely on Prevailing Wage laws. In fact, many veterans benefit from Prevailing Wage laws, which ensure that jobs are kept local and that Missouri workers receive fair compensation for their labor. Prevailing wage laws are like minimum wage laws for construction workers.
That’s why it’s so troubling that Governor Eric Greitens and the members of the legislature are taking aim at these important laws and the families who rely on them.
Repealing Prevailing Wage would mean firms could bring in cheap, out-of-state labor to outbid Missouri companies. Construction workers’ wages would be cut. 10.5% of Missouri’s construction workforce are veterans compared to 6.7% of its state workforce. Repealing prevailing wage in Missouri would not only hurt working families, it would disproportionately affect Missouri veterans. Missouri veterans could lose their jobs.
Prevailing Wage laws also ensure our schools and roads are built safely, by qualified and skilled workers, not by out-of-state companies or undocumented workers. It allows working families to get better benefits, reducing reliance on government assistance. And it strengthens our economy overall because higher wages mean more spending power and economic activity all across the state.
Danny and Eric and other veterans like them defended us, we owe it to them and their families to protect Prevailing Wage laws, not destroy them.
Learn more about Protect MO Families www.ProtectMoFamilies.com