Pennsylvania Saves Prevailing Wage
February 21, 2012
Republican legislation aimed at weakening Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage law hit a major bump in the road February 16 after supporters failed to garner enough support from fellow party members in the state house.
Despite their 112-91 majority in the state House of Representatives, Republican leaders couldn’t bring the bill – which would have squeezed construction workers’ paychecks – to the floor after more than a dozen pro-worker GOP representatives broke with their party on the issue.
Prevailing wage laws mandate minimum wage and benefit levels on all government-funded construction projects above a certain cost threshold. Currently it is $25,000, which the GOP wanted to jack up to $185,000.
Weakening the prevailing wage law would have had a negative impact on not only construction workers’ wallets, but on the quality of the projects, says Allentown, Local 375 Business Manager Brett Helfrich:
Data from the Keystone Research Center, a pro-worker think tank, backs him up. In a report on the effects of prevailing wage that was released last year, the center found.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Steve Bloom, says he has not given up on efforts to try move the legislation later this session.