This legislative session, Republicans have pushed bills to roll back safety and legal rights for workers and scale back prevailing wage laws that provide fair compensation and employment and training opportunities for the working class. A partial prevailing wage repeal bill in the form of Senate Bill 361 passed earlier this month in the state senate.
Over 1,000 people spoke out against the bill on the steps of the capitol building on Feb. 16 in a rally organized by Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, who spoke strongly against the bill on the Senate Floor.
“The new Republican leadership has launched its attack on West Virginia families, and over 170,000 West Virginians are at risk of losing the health care they were able to obtain through the federal Affordable Care Act,” said Senator Kessler, days before the SB 361 vote took place. “We are talking about access to health care for families and children who the Republican leadership is putting at risk. That’s radical, reckless and wrong. We are standing with the hardworking West Virginia families and fighting back against this extreme right-wing agenda that is gutting the quality of life for West Virginians.”
Prevailing wage laws do not only affect workers, but also protect the state’s citizens by allowing for the sustainability of a construction workforce that delivers quality projects on-time and on-budget and supports local economies.
Today’s events are a continued reminder to state legislators that workers will not take this attack on their livelihoods – and safety of fellow citizens – lying down.