As we celebrate Labor Day this week, we wanted to take a moment to thank the hard working construction workers who literally built our state.
Recently, the Los Angeles Times published a list of the 10 most dangerous jobs in America. Four of the 10 were jobs in construction related fields.
Just last week, The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the fatality of a worker in Berkeley while laying asphalt at a school. This and stories like it are why our fight to protect prevailing wage is so important.
We all know about the benefits of prevailing wage to families who find a ladder to the Middle Class and the higher quality of buildings built by prevailing wage workers, but often the safety argument doesn’t get enough attention
The fact remains that construction jobs are dangerous, and prevailing wage leads to training and standards that make the jobs much safer. . Apprenticeship programs supported by prevailing wage provide a framework for years of training so that workers learn the most efficient and safest possible way to practice their tradecraft.
A study of what happened when the State of Kansas repealed prevailing wage statewide, and the results were grim. Serious injury rates increased by 21%. If that wasn’t enough, income fell by 10%, apprenticeship training fell by 38% overall, and 54% for minorities.
Given these facts, it’s not surprising that three recent polls showed overwhelming support for prevailing wage in California – both statewide and in San Diego where projects covered by prevailing wage were just expanded.
When opponents argue to repeal prevailing wage, they fail to mention the staggering risk to workers, their families, and their community. Right now, they are lobbying to eliminate prevailing wage city-by-city by convincing cities across California to pass hastily crafted, unnecessary charters – even though the facts are stacked against them.
So as we consider Labor Day, we thank those who put their life on the line to build California’s future, and recommit our efforts to help community leaders and the public understand what is at stake in our fight to protect and grow the Middle Class, and I can think of no better way for you to show your appreciation than to sign our petition to protect prevailing wage.