Thursday, March 30, 2017
By Mark Bliss ~ Southeast Missourian
State Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau, wants to fix rather than repeal Missouri’s prevailing wage law.
“I think most people realize this needs some fixes,” he said.
Gov. Eric Greitens has called for a repeal of the law, which requires contractors to pay a state-determined minimum wage for each construction trade on public-works projects.
Wallingford met earlier this year in Cape Girardeau with about 20 area contractors. Wallingford said union and nonunion contractors told him they don’t want lawmakers to repeal the prevailing-wage law.
Labor unions provide skilled training for their members and health insurance, according to Rick McGuire, business manager for Laborers Union Local 1140 in Cape Girardeau.
Tim Pekios, who operates nonunion Midwest Environmental Studies, a Cape Girardeau-based asbestos-abatement company, favors keeping the prevailing-wage law.
“It is not just a union thing,” he said Wednesday.
Pekios, who was one of the contractors who met with Wallingford in February, said the current law “allows all companies to get the best workers.”
Without such a law, low-wage companies with less-skilled workers could end up with public-works contracts, Pekios said.