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Press Release

Nonresidential Construction Growth Continues in May

The U.S. construction industry added 17,000 jobs in May according to the June 5 preliminary estimate released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. April’s estimate was revised downward from 45,000 to 35,000 net new jobs. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 8,200 jobs in May, with nonresidential specialty trade contractors adding 5,600 jobs and nonresidential building employment expanding by 2,600 jobs. Residential construction employment added 8,500 net new jobs for the month.   

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Local's prevailing wage request didn't prevail as intended

A concerned citizen wrote to the Upshur County Commission about the West Virginia Prevailing Wage law, but his request did not generate a motion and, as a result, was not considered.

French Creek resident Doyle Tenney wrote that he believes the prevailing wage law would adversely affect job wages that workers on construction projects costing $500,000 or less have grown to rely upon.

He sought the commission’s consideration of passing a county law to continue to pay prevailing wage on jobs less than $500,000 in the county, but when Commission President J.C. Raffety called for a motion to consider his request, no one made a recommendation.

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Prevailing Wage Flaws

The hand-wringing and controversy over the calculation of West Virginia’s prevailing wage rates provides a vivid illustration of the problem with government setting private wages.
The state agency charged with recalculating the rates has come up with a methodology. Republicans in theLegislature have rejected that methodology, saying it isn’t consistent with the statute they passed earlier this year. Democrats dispute that.

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Could West Virginia Lose Prevailing Wage?

5 News told you back in April about how prevailing wage laws have undergone some changes in our state.  But now, prevailing wage has the potential to disappear temporality come next month.  

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Lawmakers, stakeholders clash over new prevailing wage law

West Virginia’s new prevailing wage law has all the makings of a Rorschach inkblot test. Look at this and tell me what you see?Republican and Democrat members of a joint legislative committee have sharply different views of the controversial changes in how the state calculates hourly wages and benefits for various state taxpayer funded projects. That was evident this week when committee members clashed over the progress so far in implementing the new law.

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Construction Materials Prices up for May, Down for Year

Prices for inputs to construction industries expanded by 1.1 percent in May, the largest month-over-month increase in more than two years and only the third time in the past 10 months that construction input prices have grown on a monthly basis. Year-over-year prices fell by 3 percent in May and have now fallen by more than 3 percent in each of the year’s first five months. The last time this occurred was the third and fourth quarter of 2009. Only three of the 11 key construction inputs—nonferrous wire and cable, crude petroleum and crude energy materials—experienced monthly price increases in May. 

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Prevailing Wage Laws: Public Interest or Special Interest Legislation?

The public policy of the United States is broadly in favor of competition. Our antitrust laws are premised on the idea that in the absence of such legislation private interests would seek to create monopolies, fix prices, restrain trade, and stifle competition. Moreover, the federal government, as well as the states and municipalities, has laws mandating competitive bidding on government contracts to guard the public against “sweetheart deals” that squander tax dollars. Open competition, in fact, is usually the undoing of those conspiracies against the public that Adam Smith saw as so

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Amendment of West Virginia’s Deliberate Intent Statute Will Make it More Difficult to Sue Employers for Workplace Injuries

In most cases, employers who prescribe to workers’ compensation insurance enjoy immunity from civil lawsuits by their employees who suffer on-the-job injuries.  This immunity is a trade-off that employers enjoy in exchange for a no-fault workers’ compensation system in which injured employees are compensated even where the injury was not the fault of the employer and/or may have even been the fault of the injured employee.

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ABC Applauds Gov. Tomblin's Signing of Construction Bill to Promote Fair and Open Competition

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and ABC of West Virginia (ABCWV) applauded Gov. Tomblin (D-W.V.) for signing the Establishing Fair and Open Competition in Governmental Construction Act (SB 409). The bill prohibits government entities from requiring contractors to enter into wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreements (PLAs) as a condition of performing work on publicly funded construction projects. 

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Section 11(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 (“OSH Act”), 29 U.S.C. §660(c), prohibits employers from “discharg[ing] or in any manner discriminat[ing] against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to [the OSH] Act or has testified or is about to testify in any such proceeding or because of the exercise by such employee on behalf of himself or others of any right afforded by [the] Act.” 

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