Last week, the voters of Wisconsin sent a clear message to their elected officials and to the rest of the country that they support Gov. Scott Walker and his agenda that eliminates wasteful collective bargaining for public employees.
While this election may not be a knockout blow for organized labor, the national attention for the recall election has taken their shortcomings into the living rooms of every voter. To add insult to injury, this recall election, organized by and called for by both public and private sector labor unions cost the tax payers of Wisconsin over $7.7 million dollars.
When their annual bonuses are withheld this year, I think we will all know why.
The outcome of this election adds to the growing number of labor disappointments in the past few years and proves that voters are recognizing the extent of government waste associated with labor's agenda and rejecting it. With membership down, the Employee Free Choice Act dead in Congress and increasing legislation (federal, state and local) banning Project Labor Agreements on tax payer funded Construction Projects, unions are in for more disappointment and tax payers are getting a more efficient use of their tax dollars.
Hopefully, the voters of West Virginia will catch on, because labor unions have been wasting our money for years. In West Virginia, we pay more than our neighboring states for schools, roads, bridges, water and sewer lines and virtually any other government funded construction project due to our inflated prevailing wage calculations. (Labor unions would have you believe that these projects are more expensive here because of our mountains, not taking into account the less than flat terrain encompassing our neighboring states.) This union supported calculation directly causes approximately $300 million in government construction waste every year in West Virginia.
If we continue to allow unions, who represent only 15 percent of workers in West Virginia to influence anti-business and anti-growth legislation in our state legislature we will continue to be mired in mediocrity. A more confident future is what all West Virginians deserve and the first step towards achieving that goal is limiting the wasteful labor unions that have pillaged our state for too long.
Associated Builders & Contractors, West Virginia Chapter represents over 130 merit shop construction companies in West Virginia with over 3500 employees.
Wendy E. McCuskey
President, Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), West Virginia Chapter