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Dedicated to support the steel fabricator with real world solutions to real world problems.
October 2011
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   The Prevailing Wage Loophole
Contact was recently made with a local Senator in Washington State. Sympathetic to the situation, this senator has offered to provide meeting time to review the law and see what options are available towards a resolution.

Watch for the next report in the November issue of The Fabricator's Resource as we work to help resolve this problem!



Many states have their own laws for prevailing wage, and these wage rates are based on what is established according to the union collective bargaining agreements by county. Updating wage rates is a constant process. Payment of these wages is usually verified by payroll reporting to the Department of Labor and Industries.

Prevailing wage is enforced for the work performed at the project location. Wage rates by county applies to the fabricator that resides within that county. If an open shop fabricator does not reside in the county that is governed by the state prevailing wage laws, then there are no rules to govern them.

A simple Internet search indicates that this issue is not signification to the State of Washington. It appears prevalent in Washington because of the large amount of public work bid this past year that has been awarded to fabricators located out of state.

Washington State recently enacted Senate Bill 5662, which is an order to conduct a survey of prevailing wage laws in other states. The Department of General Administration is required to provide a report of this survey by December 1, 2011. If there are laws in other states that are written to favor contractors within their own borders, then there could be a model for new legislation that would help those in the State of Washington.

So what is the steel fabricator supposed to do in the meantime? The solution for many has been to not bid public work. For right now, we can only hope that an increase in private construction will follow the completed public work. Talk of a double-dip recession has created a fear among investors that will make them slow to fund many new projects.

The Fabricator's Resource will keep you posted on this issue as more news becomes available. We are searching for information from other states and we would appreciate your comments. Please send them by email to kerriolsen@steeladvice.com, you can click on the link provided.
Click HERE to find your Legislator!
No language within the law to limit out of state competition!
Click on the link above to find who serves for your district.
It is a Process!
Our public officials are there to help and are interested in supporting a resolution.

Get on the phone today! It will not take much time and will make a big difference in our contracting future!

Talk to your State Senators!
Send us Your Comments!