May 14th, 2017
by Philip Joens
Contractors around Jefferson City felt relieved Friday night after the General Assembly failed to approve a bill that would’ve repealed Missouri’s prevailing wage law.
Currently, construction workers are paid a state-set minimum wage on state and local construction projects in Missouri because of a state law created in 1959. House Bill 1o4 proposed to repeal that law. It was passed the House in March and had the support of Gov. Eric Greitens before it stalled in the Senate. While local contractors feel relieved, they also know the bill may come up again in next year’s session.
“We have been very concerned about losing prevailing wage,” said Greg Schrock, a local electrician and president of the Jefferson City union International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 257. “It could make or break us.”
Meyer Electric Vice President Craig Linhardt said he hopes this will give assembly members time to reflect on the issue.
“Hopefully this will give the legislature and the people of the State of Missouri time to reflect on the long term ramifications of how this law affects the working families of Missouri,” Linhardt said.
Each year, all contractors, both union and non-union, turn in the hours they work to the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Wages differ by skill set and county. Because local unions collectively bargain wages in each county, all union contractors are lumped into the same pool.