The Missouri Secretary of State approved the "Right to Work" citizens veto for signature gathering. We are in the process of aquiring the petition and setting up signature gathering trainings and events. Stay tuned for additional information as it becomes available.
If you have questions or have not signed the list to participate in signature gathering, please call the hall and we will add your name to the list to get involved.
What Exactly is Prevailing Wage and why is it important?
Davis Bacon is a law that was created by two Republicans just after the Great Depression. They were from Senator James Davis, Republican from Pennsylvania, and Representative Robert Bacon, Republican from New York
The House and Senate would pass bills to build roads, bridges, schools, etc.. The point was to put their constituents to work so that when election time came back they would get re-elected.
When the construction projects started, what ended up happening is coyote contractors from notoriously low-wage states, like Mississippi or Arkansas, were winning all the bids on projects because their workers were willing to work for nearly nothing. Those contractors were securing the bids on the backs of the workers. The Senator and Representative, fearing losing re-election, came up with Davis Bacon so that local contractors could remain competitive, and so that local workers were able to have a job and pay into the tax base.
What Davis Bacon says is that you can win bids based on overhead, based on mark-up, based on efficiency and skill, but what you cannot win bids based on is how low you can pay your workers.
Davis Bacon only applies to federally funded projects. Prevailing Wage is Missouri's version of Davis Bacon. It applies to state funded projects and is important to both union and non-union workers. Without Prevailing Wage laws you would be working for minimum wage. That's $7.70. How do I know that? I know because there are a lot of folks in Arkansas and Oklahoma that are willing to work for that amount. Believe me, if Prevailing Wage goes away you should go look at the job sites around the state. What you will see are out of state license plates.
What exactly does that mean? Well first, you won't be working unless you are willing to work for minimum wage and no benefits. For if you are not, someone else will be. Secondly, the workers coming from out of state will come to Missouri, take our jobs, then take their earnings back to their respective home state to spend.
These are all taxpayer funded projects. Nobody likes taxes, but we are already going to be paying them. There is no way around that. So if we are already going to be paying taxes then those taxes should damn sure be working for us... not Oklahoma or Arkansas. Those taxes should be putting Missourians to work and rebuilding our schools, our hospitals, our roads and our bridges. By eliminating Prevailing Wage we will be cutting our own throat and diminishing our own services. Eliminating Prevailing Wage will make us a 3rd rate state.
Prevailing Wage doesn't say you have to be union or non-union to win the bid. All is it says is, no matter union or non-union, that you can't screw over the workers.
One last note, you can look at comparable projects in states with a Prevailing Wage versus states without. The projects cost the same. There is no savings to the taxpayers in states without Prevailing Wage laws. What you will see is that the profit margin for the OWNERS skyrocket at the workers' expense.
I hope this helps to clear up what Prevailing Wage is any why it is so very important to the State of Missouri and the livelihoods of construction workers.
P.S. – We mean no ill-will to the fine folks of Arkansas or Oklahoma. Those states just have a different standard of living. We believe that the standard of living in Missouri is superior and would like to maintain that.
Take a moment to call you State Senator (again if necessary) and let them know that our state, our workers, and our tax base need Prevailing Wage. You can reach your State Senator by calling 1-855-626-6011.