Veterans In Construction Will Want To Save Prevailing Wage Law

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

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Study says wages will be reduced 7-10 percent if repealed

A repeal of a law going into effect in January will have a severely negative impact on military veterans.

That according to a study done by Midwest Economic Policy Institute (MEPI).

Prevailing wage, which makes sure those in construction get a livable wage on the job, is set to go away for local projects next year.

“Repeal of prevailing wage would actually reduce veterans income by 7-10 percent,” Frank Manzo, the policy director with MEPI, said. “(It) would lower the employer provided health coverage for vets in construction by 11-15 percent.”

Manzo says there is no evidence from other states that have passed this law that money has been saved.

In 2014 there was an estimated 200 veterans in La Crosse County employed as blue collar construction workers and this policy could put veterans in danger in these positions, especially since it cuts apprenticeship.

“Veterans who come home from fighting overseas,” Manzo explained, “now face an increased risk, if they’re working construction, when prevailing wage is repealed, because they’re colleagues are less trained, less invested in their community.”

The study says the law will strip 400 veterans of their health insurance. Over 8 percent of the construction workers in the state are veterans.

Manzo says if you are against prevailing wage being stopped, you should make your voice known at the polls in two weeks.

The move is expected to double the number of veterans living below poverty level.

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