JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Committee to Protect MO Families started a new public awareness campaign this week to educate middle class families about the prevailing wage as they prepare for attacks similar to right-to-work.
The campaign launched with a video featuring Danny Burlison, a Navy veteran and and Carpenters Union member. The ads will be run throughout the summer.
Protect MO Families also released a study by Dr. Michael Kelsay, an economics professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which explains the benefits of a prevailing wage.
Between online components and in-person meetings and other events, the campaign hopes to educated families and Missourians about the benefits of prevailing wage.
Protect MO Families anticipates attacks on prevailing wage becoming the next battleground in the fight over labor rights that’s already seen right-to-work and paycheck protection legislation be narrowly avoided in upheld vetoes.
“Greedy CEOs and corporate interests have been trying to repeal Missouri’s Prevailing Wage [sic] law, but to working families, this isn’t just a policy, it’s personal,” said Dave Wilson of Protect MO Families. “We’re launching this educational campaign to make sure folks understand that Missouri’s Prevailing Wage law affects real people like Danny and his family. It helps ensure fair wages for skilled workers, safe buildings in our communities, and a stronger economy.”
In Missouri, the prevailing wage is set by the department of labor for different trades within each county. It applies to public works projects constructed by or on behalf of state and local public bodies.
Kelsay’s report rebukes what Protect MO Families refers to as myths about prevailing wage and says it provides benefits to the economy.
According to his analysis, the total economic loss due to the repeal of the prevailing wage law in Missouri would be a loss of income and revenue between $225.3 million and $360.7 million annually.
It also found that there was no difference in school construction project costs between prevailing wage states and states without a prevailing wage. For university construction costs, he found that money was saved in states with prevailing wage.