3 Questions to Ask About Construction Policies

construction welder

With elections on the horizon and the public debate around construction policies heating up, these guidelines can help make sense of which construction policies work. When examining a policy, it’s important to ask these key questions:

Does it keep construction employers honest?

  • Cheating construction employers reduce competition. By cutting corners on worker wages, training and safety, they make it difficult for honest contractors to compete.
  • Policies such as project labor agreements and prevailing wage keep construction employers honest, by holding them to the law and ensuring they provide fair wages, training and safety precautions.
  • This saves cities money for years after the project finishes, as they spend less on maintenance and redoing low quality work.

Does it build the tax base?

  • Middle class careers build up the tax base.  For cash-strapped cities, middle class careers generate tax revenue and ease the burden on costly social services.
  • Families with more disposable income also spend more in local businesses. Their earnings multiply throughout the local economy (the multiplier effect).
  • By contrast, through low-wage, temporary, short-term work employers often evade taxes and keep workers dependent on government services.

Who benefits?

  • Read between the lines. Contractors who cheat have a huge stake in misinforming the public. They seek to keep profits in the hands of a few rather than play by the rules.
  • By contrast, apprenticeships and policies that promote them provide lifelong training and middle class careers for those who need it most. Many
  • registered apprenticeship programs outreach specifically to veterans, women, low-income workers, and minorities. These men and women provide the foundation for a strong economy.

Start the conversation.

Photo courtesy of Ironworkers Local 229.