Posts tagged skilled labor
US Steel announces plans to lay off hundreds at southern Illinois mill
November 30, 2023 // The mill has a total of 1,300 steelworkers, according to KTVI. Those numbers will be cut nearly in half with the 600 expected firings. Already, 400 employees have been temporarily laid off due to idling in September.
Counterpoint: Davis-Bacon Requires Pork Spending, Costs Taxpayers Billions
October 23, 2023 // The Davis-Bacon Act was passed in 1931 and was initially meant to counter a Depression-era practice of literally busing in workers from a lower-paying region so employers didn’t have to hire local workers who would not work for the wages being offered. This practice benefitted many workers, frequently African-Americans, who lived in poor regions with little work. Busing in unskilled labor is rarely a factor with the law, as most federal projects involve skilled labor. The present-day purpose behind the Davis-Bacon Act is to boost unions. The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division is the entity that surveys businesses and determines the prevailing wage for these types of projects. This wage mirrors what companies with collective bargaining contracts — union wages — pay their workers. Unions that drive up their members’ wages are thus protected from the economic consequences of doing that if their business involves federal contracts because non-unionized businesses will have to pay the same wages and, therefore lose any wage-price advantage. The AFL-CIO is one of the main boosters of the law, unsurprisingly.