Prevailing Wage Impact

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This page contains information related to how prevailing wage impacts Kentucky.

Impact on Kentucky

Prevailing wage Law needs to be repealed

Prevailing wage law in Kentucky needs to be repealed. Prevailing wage law favors unions. It gives union contractors wages that are much higher than the median wage for the location and industry. It locks out non union contractors giving the job to union contractors at a much higher wage rate than the median rate. The government ends up spending excessive amounts of taxpayer money to pay union contractors. The sad thing is most taxpayers don’t know that their money is going to fund unions through the form of government overpayment to unions. Unions end up hurting the non union portion of the construction industry. Many of these non union construction trades are small and midsize businesses. Taxpayers don’t know it but they are funding discrimination and unconstitutional employment practices, since the unions purposely lock out minorities from the union work force. The Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional to not hire someone on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, creed, or sexual orientation. Yet, the union continues to hire mostly white men for union construction jobs. Another example, of how unions are hurting America is when they take money that could be used for improving education in the public schools, and instead this money goes to overpaying unions to build public schools and universities, and students lose out. For example, “Ohio law requires public schools and universities to pay more than necessary for building construction and repair” [1]

The Davis Bacon Act has racist roots. It was enacted to prevent Black owned firms from the South to migrate to New York City and compete on construction contracts. The Davis Bacon Act was created to prevent blacks from competing on construction contracts in big cities like Baltimore, New York, and Chicago because union leaders thought that African Americans were depressing labor wages. Eventually, African Americans left New York and were forced to return to the south, which had enacted Jim Crow laws, and made it impossible for African Americans to find employment. Since 2000, labor unions faced 13,815 complaints of discrimination filed with the government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These include: • 4,248 complaints of race discrimination • 3,386 complaints of age discrimination • 1,820 complaints of sex discrimination • 1,642 complaints of disability discrimination • 297 complaints of religious discrimination (Wilson, 2009)

The Davis-Bacon Act was passed by Congress in 1934 with the strong support of labor unions” (Tuerck, 2008). It was passed by lawmakers to keep African Americans from working on construction projects for the federal government. The AFL-CIO President, William Green recently testified that "colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates” [2] . “The state prevailing wage law is a boon to both union contractors and the union trades. The contractors don't have to compete on labor costs. They just pass those costs on to the hapless taxpayer. And the unions are happy because the contactors are willing to pay whatever the unions demand. In effect, the state serves as the enforcement arm of the union monopoly from which it is compelled to buy construction service” (Tuerck, 2008). The Federal Government uses only unions for the federal highway projects, and therefore they are hiring individual’s based on race and ethnicity, since Unions are composed mostly of White Labor. Taxpayers are unknowingly funding racism in the workforce.

The law was created during the Great Depression to keep southern black workers from competing for construction jobs in the North. (Tuerck, 2008). To this day, it continues the system that chooses big contractors and big labor over what is best for the community at large (Tuerck, 2008).

The Commonwealth is the victim of union forced racism, and taxpayers in Kentucky are unknowingly paying the bill for this vindictive practice. Union prevailing wage laws and the Davis Bacon Act has a monopoly that sees only one color and that is white. The Democratic Party is a big supporter of Unions since this is where most of their campaign money comes from. Harry Alford, the CEO Of “The Black Chamber of Commerce” is outraged that politicians and black organizations such as the NAACP would sell out to unions, whom continue to propagate racist employment practices that target African Americans and other minorities. He cites an example of Detroit to support his argument: “The City of Detroit has embarked on a major construction expansion including a new football stadium and a new major league baseball park – across the street from each other. Even though the City of Detroit has a population that is 77% Black, these two projects which have been declared "union only" will, at best, average no more than 15% African American participation in the workforce” [3]. In 1999, Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce testified before Congress on the Racism found in the Davis Bacon Act. He said, “The exclusivity effect of Davis-Bacon requirements encourages the construction trades to continue its activity of discrimination against African-American labor. Locally, regionally and nationally construction trades under-represent the African-American population. Go to any city or look at any major project and you will find a great disparity against African-American labor” (Wilson, 2009).African Americans should be outraged at Unions and Democrats and should join the fight for America’s freedom from Unions and Democrats who are discriminating against minorities in the workplace, destroying the economy, and stealing our freedom.

Kentucky Energy

In 1997, Kentucky Utilities modified the largest coal-fired electrical generating unit at its E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County, Kentucky without installing required pollution control equipment or complying with applicable emission limits. Kentucky utilities allegedly broke the environmental laws by modifying their coal fired electrical generating unit, but it allegedly didn’t install the required equipment to control pollution. The violations of the clean air act supposedly allowed the firm to increase the amount of coal burned, but it gave off too much sulfur dioxide and nitrogen thus violating the clean air act. The Justice Department and EPA are making them pay $1.4 million civil penalty and they are making the firm KU to spend $135 million on pollution control [4] When the federal government goes after energy companies in Kentucky for producing more they are hurting Kentucky’s economy. The Feds shouldn’t be able to go after a state energy company for producing more coal. Energy companies are in the business of producing energy and if they can produce extra energy and keep prices down at the expense of the environment, they shouldn’t be punished. .

“With a rise of 150 percent the USCIS projects that 15,000 illegal immigrants resided in Kentucky as of 2000. Kentucky continues to draw in illegal immigrants to the state every spring and fall as illegal aliens arrive to plant and harvest crops” [5] Many illegal immigrants end up living in poor unsanitary housing, as many are not able to afford housing on their wages, and then they end up getting government housing welfare, Medicaid, and food stamps and avoid taxes (support, 2009). While Kentucky is in an economic recession the state is purposely drawing in illegal immigrants to the state for their cheap labor, and putting Kentucky citizens out of work. They are putting Kentucky minorities out of work with their prevailing wage laws. Kentucky is requesting 643,000 from the feds toward keeping illegal immigrants in jail rather than deporting them. The feds would only give Kentucky $248,000 for locking up illegals. This forced Kentucky taxpayers to pay for illegal’s by giving 395,000 in taxes to keep the illegals incarcerated.

The impact of unions on the economy

Government unions impose huge costs on state and local governments. The more unions a state has the more government debt the state has. These public sector unions have deep pockets.[1] They advocate for higher government spending and generous wages and benefits for public workers. States that have the highest number of public sector unions at 75% get 23% of their debt from those public unions. States that have 75% public sector unions, those unions impose 23% of the debt on those states.[2]

How unions are hurting Europe

“Greece has come under intense pressure from its EU partners to slash spending after it revealed a massive and previously undeclared budget shortfall last year that continues to rattle financial markets and the euro, the currency shared by 16 EU members”. Greek Unions are striking again. Mr. Papandreou's new socialist government increased cuts, and increased the retirement age. The Unions are challenging spending cutbacks. The strike has left state hospital workers working with EM staff and disrupted national rail travel, although urban mass transport was unaffected”.[3]

Unions and government debt

Government Unions impose costs and burdens in state and local government. The more unions a state has the more government debt they have. Public -Sector Unions are lobbyist groups that have a strong hold on politicians. They advocate for more government spending and higher compensation for government workers. States that are composed of unions that make up 75% of government workers create 23% of the public debt. States with the highest per-capita debt have powerful and large Public-Sector Unions that have made deals behind the scenes with politicians. States that have 67% to 73% of municipal employees that are part of a public sector union have $8,000-$10,000 of per capita debt. This data is from U.S. Census Bureau, and Bureau of Labor Statistics.[4]

Congress just approved the budget to be increased to $14.3 trillion over the next 10 years. To combat the interest on this they are going to have to print more money and then inflation will kick in and break America's bank. There goes our Republic. If we keep barrowing the interest rates will explode out of control and we will have runaway inflation. We need to reduce public spending, debt, size, taxes and reduce regulations to promote job creation and wealth production.[5]

Kentucky's spending problems and the influence of unions

The residents of the Commonwealth pay 8.3% more in taxes because they are paying for inflated wages to union workers. Unions cost the taxpayers of the commonwealth millions of dollars a year by draining the state budgets, and forcing union backed politicians to spend like drunken sailors. 118,583 state government workers in Kentucky belong to public unions.[6] The average salary for state workers in Kentucky is $34,486 a year and that doesn't include benefits. Kentucky needs to become a right to work state and outlaw unions and the lobbyists that represent them. The right to work states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska,Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. All 50 state use lobbyists at the state level and the federal government uses lobbyists. Right to work states have lower unemployment rates.  The six states with the lowest unemployment rates all have right to work laws. Right to work states have strong economies with low unemployment and less government spending. The average unemployment rate for right to work states is 6.2%. Michigan is the has the most unionization of all states and has the highest unemployment of all the states at 10.6%. States that aren't right to work states force employees that work for a company that is unionized to be part of the union against their will. They have to pay dues and follow all of the union rules even though they don't want to be part of the union. Under right to work states employees whom work for a firm that is unionized doesn't have to participate in the union if they don't want to. They don't have to pay union dues or participate in union elections or any of the other internal union activities.[7]


  1. Williams, J. (1997). Repeal Prevailing Wage Law to increase school fund. Buckeye Institute.
  2. Tuerck, D. G. (2008). Next Target:The Prevailing Wage Law. Boston Globe
  3. Wilson, J. (2009). The racist roots of the davis bacon act. Center for Union Facts
  4. service, E. n. (2009, september 5). environmental news wire. Retrieved november 21, 2009, from Kentucky Utilities must pay $140 million in clean air settlement
  5. support, I. (2009, february 5). immigration to kentucky. Retrieved november 25, 2009, from us immigration support

[8]Associated Press, 2010, "As Spending Cuts Deepen, Greek Unions Challenge Austerity Measures".Washington Examiner.

[9] Ohio Labor Lawyer, 2009. "Misc Mondays:Unemployment Rates Lower in Right to Work States".

[10] National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation Inc.


[12] Edwards C., 2010,"Unions and Government Debt", Cato Library

[13] Freddoso D., 2010. "Public Sector Unions and State Debt Go Hand in Hand". Washington Examiner.

See Also