Prevailing Wage benefits the southwest United States

How does Prevailing Wage benefit members of the Southwest Pipe Trades Association and all local workers?

Prevailing Wage was established with the passing of the Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Act of 1931. Essentially, Prevailing Wage is the wage rate established in a locality for the cost of labor on a project that is funded by the local, state or federal government.

Any project in any state using federal funding must pay the Prevailing Wage in that area thanks to the Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Act.

Although Texas and Oklahoma have not established state Prevailing Wage laws, New Mexico has the New Mexico Public Works Minimum Wage Act. This state legislation requires a Prevailing Wage be paid to those working on state or locally funded public works projects.

Though Prevailing Wage rates are different in every area, they are based on the union wages in a given area. The theory behind Prevailing Wage is that the government should not undercut workers’ wages for labor, as the money will ultimately be spent and put back into the economy.

Considering that Prevailing Wage is required on federally funded projects, some states have chosen not to pass a Prevailing Wage law, or more recently, have repealed the state Prevailing Wage law. The SWPTA advocates for Prevailing Wage laws to be instituted in Oklahoma and Texas.

Without a Prevailing Wage law, publicly funded contracts are susceptible to being awarded to out-of-state contractors who will take the wages earned in one state and take them to their home state, consequently having a negative effect on the local economy in which they earned the wages.

Prevailing Wage laws also tend to lead to safer working conditions as tradesmen and tradeswomen are more likely to have received proper safety training.

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