Idaho GOP Proposes Repeal of Long-Dead Prevailing Wage Law
February 16, 2011
Idaho Republicans, joining the national wave of attacks on working people, are targeting construction workers by introducing a bill last month that would prohibit the use of prevailing wage rates on state and local projects.
There is just one problem: Idaho repealed the state’s prevailing wage law – which sets required thresholds for worker pay on government-funded construction projects – 26 years ago.
Says Idaho Building and Construction Trades Council President Rod Fuger:
The bill – in addition to outlawing phantom wage rules – also prohibits the use of project labor agreements on government-projects. PLAs are project-specific, pre-hire collective bargaining agreements.
It passed the state Senate by an overwhelming majority and is now being considered by the House.
The Idaho GOP is also going after union contractors. State Sen. John Goedde has introduced a bill that would prohibit signatory contractors from using union contributions to subsidize wages, a common practice that helps them submit more competitive bids.
Contractors and local unions found guilty could be fined upwards of $100,000.
Says Idaho State AFL-CIO President Dave Whaley:
Despite the anti-labor fury coming from the state legislature, less than 10 percent of Idaho workers are union members.
State Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has questioned the legality of both bills, warning that they could land the state in federal court.