Illinois Economic Policy Institute official discusses the benefits of prevailing wage

Frank Manzo of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) spoke with America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on July 30 about prevailing wage standards leading to more Americans living the “American Dream.”

America's Work Force Union Podcast - Illinois Economic Policy Institute

Illinois Economic Policy Institute

Manzo said prevailing wage laws promote the growth of the middle class and allow for easier access into it. For decades prevailing wage laws have allowed many to live middle class lifestyles and provide quality lives for their families.

Manzo provided three ways that prevailing wage standards help construction workers and their families:

  1. Prevailing wage laws boosts construction wages by five percent, annually.
  2. Prevailing wage laws increase health insurance averages.
  3. Prevailing wage laws improve pension plan access.

Manzo explained how prevailing wage laws affect homeownership.

When people are making more money, as many do when they are being paid a prevailing wage, their ability to purchase a home increases. Manzo added that prevailing wage laws positively impact African Americans and Latinos the most, reducing income inequality.

Manzo then talked about the overall economical benefits of prevailing wage laws, not just on an individual basis, but on the economy as a whole.

He dispelled myths that prevailing wage is a waste of taxpayer money, adding that people who typically have an interest in cutting wages. Prevailing wage laws typically lead to a more prosperous local economy, allowing more people to afford houses and to be able to spend money in the local economy, Manzo added.

America's Work Force Union Labor Radio Podcast - Greenpeace

America’s Work Force Union Labor Radio Podcast – Greenpeace

Later in the show, Andy Shen of Green Peace called for United Nations intervention on a suspected murder case linked to FCF, the parent company of Bumble Bee Foods.

Shen lamented the absence of legitimate investigations for the 14 fishery observer deaths aboard fishing vessels that have occurred in the last decade.

Shen said those who work on fishing vessels often complain about long work hours, little or no pay and dangerous work conditions, making the death of any fishery observer suspicious.

Shen said that the lack of investigations into fishery observer deaths, especially in this case is troubling. Fishery observers are often targeted as it is their job to protect vulnerable communities and defend the human right to a health environment.


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America’s Work Force is the only daily labor-radio program in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America’s workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, BMA MEDIA GROUP, COLUMBUS-CENTRAL OHIO BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, CUYAHOGA COUNTY VETERAN SERVICE COMMISSION, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, HEAT AND FROST INSULATORS AND ALLIED WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES DISTRICT COUNCIL 6, KELLEY & FERRARO, LLP,  LABOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE, LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, NORTH COAST AREA LABOR FEDERATION, MARITIME TRADES DEPARTMENT, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS-AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, UNITED STEELWORKERS.

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