Green Party candidate for Michigan Governor, Jennifer V. Kurland, said today that eliminating the prevailing wage in Michigan places skilled trade workers in jeopardy at a time when they are needed most. The ramifications, she added, will be long term and negative.
“For a party who touts fiscal responsibility as a key value, Republican lawmakers in Lansing certainly didn’t make a fiscally responsible decision for our state on Wednesday,” Kurland said.
Kurland added that the legislature usurped the democratic process by passing this repeal based on petition signatures rather than allowing all Michigan voters to weigh in on this ballot measure.
“Too often, our legislators find a way to get what they want by pushing at the legal limits of our democratic process,” said Kurland, who will be on the November 6 general election ballot. “The repeal of the prevailing wage in Michigan is further evidence that our state can no longer afford to continue down this path.”
Sharing the Green Party ticket with Jennifer Kurland in November, Lieutenant Governor candidate Charin Davenport explained that eliminating the prevailing wage is nothing more than the continued privatization of our collective public interests. Lower paying jobs for public projects will only increase the likelihood of rushed jobs, cutting corners, and poorer quality work”, she said. “Ultimately, this repeal is yet another example of the Michigan legislature’s continued attack on unions that seems to have an end goal of eliminating them completely.”
“Such blatant disregard for the skilled trades in Michigan can only lower wages that have remained stagnate for decades, while increasing the profits of corporate shareholders and CEOs,” Davenport said. “The last thing our state needs now is more income inequality.”
It is no secret that Michigan is facing a critical shortage of well-trained skilled workers, and eliminating the prevailing wage will escalate this into a crisis by reducing the funding needed to train more workers entering the workforce. Michigan residents should not have to leave their homes to search elsewhere for better paying jobs and opportunities for their families.
According to Republican legislators, repealing the prevailing wage will save money by reducing the costs of public construction projects by 10-15 percent. In reality, this “savings” is a pipedream and is unsustainable long-term when out of state workers take their paychecks home. This essentially funnels Michigan tax dollars out of state.
Kurland said she fears that out of state companies are more likely to purchase materials and equipment in their home states instead of here in Michigan, putting our small businesses owners in jeopardy.
“By forcing Michigan’s skilled trades workforce to compete with lower wage workers from out of state when we have the talent right here at home is an irresponsible and reckless devaluation of our own residents. The people of Michigan deserve better from their government, and Charin Davenport and I intend to deliver on that promise,” Kurland said.