Today is now Pay Cut Day for West Virginia’s construction workers, West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue said.
“At a time when the focus should be on building our state’s infrastructure and supporting our local workforce, the Senate President and House Speaker have chosen to play politics with the pay of West Virginia workers, resulting in confusion and disruption within the state’s construction industry,” President Perdue said.
The Republicans on the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Government and Finance voted in June to deny WorkForce West Virginia’s request for an extension in calculating a fair market minimum hourly wage for state projects above $500,000, as directed by legislation adopted this year. As a result of that action, taken over the objection of Democrat members, the existing Prevailing Wage expired as of July1.
“The Prevailing Wage protects local workers and local contractors,” Affiliated Construction Trades Director Steve White said. “Beginning today, workers on public projects will face unfair wages and unfair competition from out-of-state contractors. Shame on the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance for denying WorkForce West Virginia the time needed to determine what the local market is paying and to ensure the best use of state taxpayer money.”
Both White and Perdue join Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in urging the legislative leadership to reconsider denying the extension.
“The Legislature directed WorkForce West Virginia to undertake a complex process that is vitally important to West Virginia’s construction industry, infrastructure needs and workers,” Perdue said. “The Republican legislative leadership owes it to West Virginia taxpayers to allow adequate time to complete that process.”