LaGrange: ‘Prevailing wage’ laws need rigorous enforcement

By: LIBN Staff
March 18, 2016

It was a successful and well-attended event and, other than the people who attended, no one knew it happened.

On March 8, 2016, hundreds attended a Public Works Symposium at the Huntington Hilton organized by Laborers Local 66 and Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust. In attendance were responsible builders and contractors, union officials, lawyers and government officials. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas gave remarks as well as staff from Suffolk District Attorney Tom Spota’s office. The focal point of this all-day event was enforcing the prevailing wage.

Prevailing wages are the pay rates set by law for work on public work projects. This applies to all laborers, workers or mechanics employed under a public work contract. The Bureau of Public Works administers Articles 8 and 9 of the New York State Labor Laws where Article 8 covers public construction. First created by the Federal Davis-Bacon Act, all publicly funded construction contracts over a certain amount must pay workers on-site no less than the locally set prevailing wage. This standard was established to prevent public works projects from destabilizing the local construction industry and to advance workforce development as well as eliminate the age-old race to the bottom.

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