Government construction

04/25/2014 8:04 AM

04/26/2014 12:41 PM

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics says one in nine construction workers are union and cost 30-35 percent more, not including employee benefits and employer payroll costs. That means the majority of construction uses experienced non-union contractors. Does that equate to sub-standard construction? In perspective, a $250,000 house would cost $325,000 to be union-prevailing wage built.

Why then do government projects require bids using union-prevailing wages? It costs billions more tax dollars on infrastructure projects like bridges, arenas, bullet trains, etc. What are the benefits? Is Occupational Safety and Health Administration strong enough on work safety? Do unions build a better product or can we rely on required government on-site inspectors to assure proper workmanship? Is government engineering management reliable? If the answer is yes to those questions, are politicians really looking out for the people who pay the bill - the taxpayers?

-- John Hightower, Orangevale

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