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Ohio changes prevailing wage, building laws

Published: Sat, August 6, 2011 @ 3:46 p.m.

COLUMBUS (AP) — When they passed the current two-year a budget, Ohio lawmakers made changes to construction laws with the hope of saving taxpayers money.

Among changes are lowering what workers must be paid on certain projects and streamlining how contracts are awarded.

Legislators reduced the number of instances in which contractors have to pay workers a prevailing wage, tied to the local union scale and generally higher than what might otherwise be paid. The change means fewer projects will require contractors to pay workers the higher wage.

The General Assembly also says contracting of public projects has been streamlined. No longer must each component — such as plumbing and electrical wiring — be bid on individually.

It’s unclear how much taxpayer savings are expected.


1cambridge(4143 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

What great news. Now Ohio can build state funded construction projects with worker's they pick up in the parking lot of the local Home Depot.

When a nonunion contractor has three fourths the overhead as a union contractor because the wage package he provides is half what a union contractor pays he doesn't submit a bid that is three fourth of what a union contractor submits. All he has to do is be the lowest bidder. That could be a $1.00 lower bid and the result is a much higher profit. In other words, the contractor makes a higher percentage of profit and his workers make less. Sound familiar?

Just one more step in turning Ohio into the next Alabama.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Good for Ohio - those over paid so called union skilled trades craftsmen are no better then the non-union skilled trades craftsmen except they cost more.

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3VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I had union workers build my house 5 years ago. Two years ago, I had to hire self-employed non-union contractors to fix and repair all the poor workmanship covered by an expired one year warranty. The union workers purposely hid defects in workmanship to get paid. The higher priced union workers had the knowledge, but they chose to hide the poor work rather than do it right.

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4block50(128 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

The prevailing wage laws are there to protect Ohio workers from being displaced by cheap foreign or out of state non-qualified workers. Those laws are there to keep Ohio money in Ohio. Just another example of republicans protecting their big money benefactors at the expense of Ohio workers and their families. By the way, who wrote this oh-so-fair and balanced press release? Was it the governor himself or one of his lackeys?

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5db(280 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Prevailing Wage laws are just another union payoff and it's good to be rid of them. I have hired both union & nonunion construction workers many times and found good & bad in both; but generally the union workers produced less and cost more. The day of the union is over.

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6Laurieljc(63 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I've lived in the South, I know what happens when there are no prevailing wage laws or when bosses are allowed to pay low wages for construction or skilled craftsman. What you end up with illegal workers who spend very little in the area and send their money out of the country. You are then taking jobs from the your friends and neighbors who live in the area, are spending in the area and desperately need the jobs.You will also have an influx of some illegals who will bring their families, and our school system will spend money teaching them English and providing any special services that they need. There are many other things to consider as well. But the prevailing wage laws evens the playing field when it comes to pay and oftentimes keeps illegal workers away.

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7cambridge(4143 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

State funded or federally funded construction projects should not be compared to people who build houses or do remodel work or handymen. No offence to any of those people union or nonunion but you're comparing apples and bolling balls.

The reason contractors that do government, large commercial and especially industrial construction projects use union labor is because they are the best bang for the buck. They are more than free to not sign contracts with the union and hire off the street. They wouldn't even consider it because it would hurt their bottom line.

You have no idea the skill level the people that build those projects have and how hard they have to work to keep their jobs and reputations. The people that think union construction workers are lazy and don't perform is ridiculous. If you don't earn your wage package and make some for the company every day you are sent back to the hall by your foreman who also belongs to your union. If you get a bad reputation you will end up quiting the union because you will not work. We don't protect our own, we police our own, for our own good and the contractors know it. We appreciate those contractors using our hiring halls and we pay them back with professionalism, craftsmanship and hard work. If you haven't done it yourself you really don't know what your talking about.

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