FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, June 30, 2014
DETROIT – The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCC) and Michigan construction companies today blasted the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) for cozying up to the Associated Builders and Contractors – lobbyists whose No. 1 priority is gutting worker wages and benefits.
“Michigan businesses that play by the rules and all taxpayers should be outraged that the State of Michigan is getting into bed with lobbyists who wake up every morning thinking of ways to cut wages, take away benefits and make the workplace less safe for working men and women,” said Mike Jackson, MRCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer. “Taxpayer dollars should not be used to help fly-by-night companies that cut corners and employ out-of-state workers. Michigan should be working instead to support legitimate businesses that pay good wages and hire Michigan workers, not shady contractors who put profits before people.”
The MIOSHA alliance also undermines taxpayer dollars because it uses tax dollars to benefit training for private, for-profit, non-union companies – when privately-funded training centers already exist across Michigan that are producing professional, skilled workers ready to work at jobsites. These training centers and schools are paid for by private companies, their employees and private union dues, not tax dollars.
ABC has repeatedly lobbied to end Michigan laws that help workers get good wages, have health care and other benefits, and ensure they can work at safe job sites, including eliminating Michigan’s prevailing wage safeguards and provisions.
“Prevailing wage laws level the playing field in the construction marketplace by keeping out shady contractors who recruit their workers at street corners, not trade schools – and this partnership appears to be one way to bypass established certified trade schools,” said Ernie Abercrombie, owner of Abercrombie Construction in Southgate. “Prevailing wage reflects the true cost of construction labor. Without prevailing wages, a contractor may pass costs associated with construction labor such as training, health care and retirement security on to the general public: the taxpayers. This MIOSHA-ABC partnership is a Trojan Horse that we should keep out.”