(Lansing, MI) Officials from major Michigan construction companies joined today to provide their support for the state's prevailing wage policy and urged lawmakers to give voters a chance to decide whether the state's prevailing wage laws should be repealed.
"We know loss of prevailing wage will make it so that employee will quit and go to other industries. It's hard to keep people in the construction industry because the work is so cyclical so in order to keep them we have to pay them," says Bart Carrigan of Associate General Contractors.
Carrigan says not only would Michigan see job loss the state will also see a decrease in a number of students in apprenticeships.
"The construction industry is a good industry for your children to get involved in and they can earn while they learn through apprentice programs and have no loans," Carrigan said.
One of Michigan's other employer association, Builders and Contractors were noticeably absent.
The Associated Builders and Contractors are among those oppose to the prevail wage because they believe it excludes a number of people. "Everybody enjoys equal opportunity regardless of union status and Michigan unfortunately doesn't have that, it has a prevailing wage law," said Chris Fisher, President of Associated Builders and Contractors.
Fisher believes the prevailing wage makes way for private groups to control the construction process.
"When this happens they tend to come up with rules and regulations that only benefit them at the expense of everybody else which means they end up making money at the expense of everybody else" said Fisher.
A proposal to repeal the prevailing wage law will go to the legislature if it has enough valid signatures. The House and Senate can pass it without the governor's signature. The proposal will go on the ballot if they vote "No" or don't vote at all.