Published on : Feb 25, 2015
The Indiana House voted 55 to 41 on Monday to remove the state’s 80 year old legislation about common construction wage. The law set a minimum level for construction wages that construction companies had to pay the construction workers, skilled or unskilled.
Republicans in the Indiana House largely favored the repeal, with an overwhelming majority voting against the law. The Republican standpoint on the issue of common construction wage is that the free market would decide the common construction wage on its own, and government interference in the matter is neither needed nor welcome. The free market prices and increasing market competition would, according to Republicans, eventually level out the common construction wages. The Republican Party’s standpoint is that the current wage limit is at least 10% higher than it should be, with some representatives venturing as high as 20%. The lower common construction wage limits are expected to help taxpayers and property buyers thanks to the reduced load on them.
The existing law, according to its proponents, offers fair wages and myriad benefits to skilled construction workers, thus also ensuring a higher quality of work achieved by them. The burden on the taxpayers is also minimally higher than without the law.
According to construction industry experts, the repeal of the common construction wage will hurt the skilled workforce as well as the ability of construction companies to acquire new skilled laborers, since not many skilled construction workers would be happy to work in an environment where the free market competition and the cutthroat race to satisfy the consumer’s every need determines their wages rather than an established regulatory limit.
Another viewpoint, taking into consideration both sides of the argument, suggests that though construction costs may go down for the consumers, the accompanying loss in quality due to lower wages may not be music to their ears.