Illinois construction workers live in fantasy land of business-as-usual. They are demanding 15% pay hikes when everyone of them ought to be fired with their jobs outsourced to the cheapest non-union shop.
Please consider Construction Workers Go On Strike.
Here in the Chicago area the highway construction workers went on strike….the reason they want a 5% raise each year over the next three year contract…..to cover the cost of increase healthcare cost!
The current salary for construction workers is between $50.00 and $68.00 per hour which include benefits.
Illinois is suffering from one of the worst recessions since the depression…. over 700,000 unemployed….Walmart has just announced they plan to build 24 new stores in the Chicagoland area…..most of the new jobs will pay $9.50 per hour….and there are conversations to raise this salary to $10.50 per hour….hundreds of unemployed workers have expressed willingness to take on these new jobs….with pleasure…..many people just want to work and get a paycheck.
I am trying to get a more specific handle on the wages of an average construction worker. It is difficult because Illinois goes by prevailing wages (by county). Moreover, there are approximately 70 different labour classifications for Cook County, none of which is construction worker.
Click here the Illinois Department of labour Prevailing Wage Documents.
Cook Country Highway Operating Engineer base pay ranges from $38-46 with benefits amounting to approximately another $20, not counting overtime, holiday pay, etc.
Interestingly, Cook Country painters get $38 an hour with health care benefits amounting to $8.35 an hour and pension benefits at $9.40 an hour.
The general category of Cook Country laborer gets $35.20 an hour with $9.13 in health care benefits and another $8.37 in pension benefits.
One also has to factor in pension and health care benefits to arrive at the totals mentioned in the first article.
However, given that many in the private sector do not have health care and most do not have pension plans anywhere close to what public workers get, favouring in pensions and health care benefits is the correct thing to do.
Any way you slice it, the whole prevailing wage concept is madness. It guarantees taxpayers pay the highest rate possible for every job filled by a union worker.
If given the chance, people would be lining up for miles for the jobs at $2 more than minimum wage.
There is a three-fold solution to this madness
1. Make Illinois a right-to work-state
2. Scrap Davis-Bacon
3. Require competitive non-union bidding on all projects involving Federal funds.
Please see Thoughts on the Davis Bacon Act for more on the insanity of prevailing wage laws.
In 1999 Ron Paul introduced a measure to repeal Davis-Bacon. Someone needs to try again, and again, and again, until that mad relic of the Great Depression is repealed.
Actually public unions should be banned completely.
Government should try to provide the most services for the least amount of money, not the fewest services for the least amount of money.
Sadly, public unions, in conjunction with prevailing wages laws, collective bargaining, and corrupt politicians all combine to insure taxpayers get the least for their hard earned dollars. Adding insult to injury, public unions have the gall to whine about it.