With a renewed focus on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, Congress must also support policies that rebuild middle-class jobs in the United States. Continue reading “New Bill Would Cut the Wages of Middle-Class Construction Workers”
A new study finds that labor unions continue to face both short- and long-term challenges in Illinois. Last year, unionization declined by about 35,000 members in the state. However, the personal benefit to unionization remains strong, as unions raise hourly wages by 8 percent on average in Illinois.
Continue reading “The State of Illinois’ Unions in 2017”
“Shoring up the middle means making bad jobs better, keeping good jobs good, and supporting the growth of the economy as a whole.” Continue reading “University of Illinois Report Takes the Pulse of Illinois’ Shrinking Middle Class”
“Right-to-work” does NOT increase union membership.
Right-to-Work Laws Reduce Union Membership
The movement to implement “right-to-work” (RTW) legislation has accelerated over recent years. Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and West Virginia recently become “right-to-work” states. Missouri and Kentucky followed in 2017. Today, 28 states have “right-to-work” laws.
One of the main policy changes contributing to the decline of unionization across the United States is the ratification of “right-to-work” legislation. From 2015 to 2016, union membership in RTW states declined by over 293,000 members. Union membership declined in 20 of the 26 states (77%) with RTW laws.
A Responsible Bidder Ordinance (RBO) is a policy that sets minimal requirements for all contractors bidding on publicly-funded projects in a given political jurisdiction. Typically, these requirements include proof of participation in an apprenticeship training program, proof of certificates of insurance, prequalification surveys, and compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. RBOs are a qualifications-based approach to construction contracting for public entities. The policies are a kind of “insurance policy” for taxpayers. The local ordinances establish clear, objective standards that contractors must meet in order to win bids and construct projects funded using taxpayer dollars.
The H-2B program grants visas to foreign workers to become employed at U.S. employers for temporary periods of time. The H-2B program is intended to address worker shortages in unskilled occupations. Migrant workers issued an H-2B visa can be employed for up to 9 months, but their visa may be extended for up to three years. Approximately 115,000 H-2B workers are currently in the United States.
The H-2B program often lowers wages for both foreign-born workers and U.S. citizens. Continue reading “The H-2B Guest Worker Program Unnecessarily Lowers Construction Worker Wages in Illinois”
A new study finds that the introduction of “right-to-work” laws has reduced the unionization rate by 2.1 percentage points and lowered worker wages by 2.6% in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Episode 4 of the For A Living podcast has been posted on iTunes and on SoundCloud. The episode investigates the pros and cons of international trade. Continue reading “Podcast: International Trade Costs and Benefits”
A new report by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute finds that prevailing wage repeal cannot result in “44 percent savings” in Wisconsin. Read More: Some Opponents of Prevailing Wage Are Really Bad at Math Continue reading Some Opponents of Prevailing Wage Are Really Bad at Math
Unionization in Minnesota is higher than the national average, at 14.2 percent. Veterans are among the most unionized groups in the state (21.2 percent). Unions raise wages by 11 percent and help close the racial gap in Minnesota. Continue reading “The State of Minnesota’s Unions in 2016”
A new report from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) finds no evidence for the assertion that prevailing wage “inflates” construction worker wages in Illinois. In fact, after analyzing counties along Illinois’ border, the report finds that a higher prevailing wage for operating engineers has no statistical impact on employment or turnover for men working in road construction. Instead, local market conditions are by far the primary drivers of public construction outcomes. Continue reading “Prevailing Wage Is the Local Market Rate in Illinois”
In Minnesota, construction workers are productive, high-skilled, and well-paid. Over 30 percent of these workers are members of a union. To maintain and increase membership, trade unions in Minnesota must continually demonstrate how workers benefit from contributing dues. An analysis by … Continue reading Unionized Construction Workers in Minnesota Get Back $5.59 for Every Dollar Paid in Dues