Pence-Holcomb Administration Hurts Middle Class Workers



INDIANAPOLIS – Passing Right to Work. Repealing common construction wage. Working more for less. The Mike Pence-Eric Holcomb Administration and Statehouse Republicans have trumpeted out-of-touch economic policies that have crippled the Hoosier middle-class.

And the result? Per capita income has fallen to 38th in the nation. Hoosiers only make 86 cents to every one American dollar. Economic growth for the state consistently falls behind the national average.

“The Hoosier middle-class is falling behind because of the out-of-touch Republican agenda led by Mike Pence and Eric Holcomb. Wages wouldn’t be lagging behind if Republicans in the Statehouse, led by Mike Pence and Eric Holcomb, had focused on issues to bolster the economy instead of ideological agendas that allow for skilled workers to make less and put our state’s reputations in jeopardy,” said John Zody, chairman. “Instead, Hoosiers are working more now than ever before yet still earning less than the rest of the nation. It seems the Pence-Holcomb team is only concerned about an employment number than making sure Hoosiers can earn a decent wage.”


Mayors Opposed Common Construction Wage Repeal

HEADLINE: “Local Mayors Oppose Repealing Indiana’s Common Wage Law” [WFIE, 4/8/15]

More Than 30 Indiana Mayors Opposed The Repeal Of The State’s Common Construction Wage Statute. “The controversial bill repealing Indiana’s Common Wage law has cleared a big hurdle at the Statehouse. Unions say it’s a job killer. Supporters call it a money saver. You’ve probably heard the ads on the radio: Construction workers fear they’ll earn less. Republican lawmakers believe taxpayers would spend less on government projects by doing away with Indiana’s 80-year-old law. Labor unions and even some contractors claim the state and local communities will get what they pay for. Supporters say the free market bidding system that works for private construction projects should work for government projects as well. Critics say doing away with the law will open the door for untrained and undocumented workers, as well as contractors who lack proper qualifications but submit the lowest bid. More than 30 Indiana Mayors oppose repealing the law. They include the Mayors of Evansville, Boonville, Mt. Vernon, and Rockport. Governor Mike Pence has said he fully supports a repeal of the law.” [WFIE, 4/8/15]

More Common Construction Wage Headlines

Times of Northwest Indiana: The Common Construction Wage In Indiana Was “A Tool Used For 80 Years By The State And Local Governments To Set Pay Rates On Their Building Projects If Valued At More Than $350,000.” “The Porter County Council took a bipartisan and unanimous stand Tuesday night against a bill moving forward downstate that would eliminate the use of the common construction wage. The resolution, which was introduced by Councilman Jeremy Rivas, D-2nd, calls on state lawmakers to reject the proposal and asks state lawmakers from across Northwest Indiana to work together to prevent the bill from becoming law after being approved Monday by the Indiana House. The common construction wage is a tool used for 80 years by the state and local governments to set pay rates on their building projects if valued at more than $350,000.” [Times of Northwest Indiana, 2/24/15]

Statehouse File: “If HB 1019 Becomes Law, It Would Eliminate A System That Lets Local Boards Set Wages For Contractors That Work On Projects Worth More Than $350,000.” “If HB 1019 becomes law, it would eliminate a system that lets local boards set wages for contractors that work on projects worth more than $350,000. The boards are made up of five members and have representation from both union and non-union contractors. In many cases, the boards set minimum pay equal to the local union wage. Supporters say the proposal will reduce the cost of public projects by as much as 20 percent. Opponents claim those numbers are exaggerated and say any savings come on the backs of workers that support local businesses.”

Greensburg Daily News: “The [Indiana Legislative Services Agency] Said That While Repealing The Wage Law Could Reduce Labor Costs In The Short Term — Though By How Much Is Unknown — Schools, Cities And Other Public Institutions May End Up Paying More In The Long Term.” “The [Legislative Services Agency] said that while repealing the wage law could reduce labor costs in the short term — though by how much is unknown — schools, cities and other public institutions may end up paying more in the long term. ‘Some studies suggest that these types of prevailing wage systems lead to greater efficiency, quality, and safety by providing for a stable, well-trained labor force,’ LSA said. ‘If such benefits were not realized due to the repeal of prevailing wage requirements, public institutions may experience an increase in costs relating to these factors in the long run.’ In addition, LSA said, ‘some studies suggest that prevailing wage systems, by increasing the wage to affected workers, increases the overall tax base due to higher incomes and consumption.’” [Greensburg Daily News, 4/20/15]

Herald Bulletin Editorial: The Repeal Of Indiana’s Common Construction Wage Act Was “Another Stab Into The Heart Of Unions.” “The reasons may be the same today as they were in 1935 when Indiana’s Common Construction Wage Act was adopted. Though not everyone realizes it. Back then, legislators wanted to be sure that construction laborers were paid adequate wages when working on public projects. Today, Hoosiers would likely want to be assured of fair wages. But the current Indiana General Assembly and Gov. Mike Pence have attacked the law with plans to repeal it. They say the repeal will bolster small businesses and kill what has become a government-mandated price-fixing ‘scheme.’ The repeal is another stab into the heart of unions.” [Editorial, Herald Bulletin, 4/23/15]


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