ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (February 16, 2021) Today, County Executive Dr. Sam Page, signed into law labor legislation ensuring a stable, well-qualified workforce in St. Louis County during a ceremony to be held tomorrow morning.
“At the heart of prevailing wage laws is the conviction that government ought to use its buying power in the construction sector to enhance the welfare of workers and their families,” said County Executive Page. “Prevailing wage laws ensure a stable, well-qualified workforce that produce high-quality work.”
Dr. Page was joined by labor leaders, who stressed the importance of prevailing wage law in St. Louis County.
“This local prevailing wage ordinance guarantees a robust enforcement mechanism,” said John Stiffler, St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council’s executive secretary treasurer. “The ordinance gives St. Louis County the necessary tools to investigate potential violations by requiring contractors to provide certified payroll; allow access to job sites; and post notices to keep workers informed of their rights.”
Pat White, president of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, said such laws provide a more diverse, productive workforce and safer worksites.
“Higher productivity lowers construction costs without lowering wages,” White said “Prevailing wage laws benefit blue-collar workers and our communities by encouraging training, lowering the rate of injuries, promoting health care coverage, minimizing disruption to local labor markets, ensuring that minority and female workers receive prevailing wages, and encouraging their participation in apprenticeship programs.”
Frank Jacobs, business manager for IBEW Local 1, added: “In today’s construction market, we far too often witness a ‘race to the bottom’ mentality, and that’s nothing short of unacceptable. Our members represent the safest, most highly skilled and productive workforce.”
In September 2019, a few months after Dr. Page took office, he requested legislation to require that with any economic development project assisted by tax incentives, the developer must not pay less than prevailing wage to the contractors and subcontractors on a project.
The council approved that bill and Dr. Page followed that legislative action by signing an executive order establishing the positon of prevailing wage enforcement coordinator.
Dr. Page took an important additional step, successfully getting legislation passed known as the Prevailing Wage Enforcement Ordinance. This formally codifies St. Louis County’s prevailing wage program including the prevailing wage enforcement coordinator, a position held by Janson Thomas.
This morning, Dr. Page signed into law the Prevailing Wage Enforcement legislation unanimously approved by the County Council.