Indiana News

Committee votes to repeal common construction wage

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – There’s an effort to repeal the state law that sets wages on public construction projects, a move that is viewed as a new attack on union workers in Indiana.

Contractors who hire union workers turned out in large numbers at a committee hearing in the Indiana House Tuesday.

They say that eliminating the common construction wage would increase shortages that already exist in the number of skilled workers in Indiana.

“We need to get more people to take care of these shortages,” said Phil Kenney of F.A. Wilhelm Construction, “and the way to do that is to have a great wage and benefit package.”

Supporters say it would reduce the cost of public projects by as much as 20 percent. They include the governor.

“This increases the cost of public sector construction,” Fort Wayne City Council President John Crawford in reference to the common wage law. “It is totally unfair to the taxpaying citizens to pay more than is needed.”

The committee approved the bill sending it to the House floor.