Dermody: Companies getting tax dollars for projects must deliver on promise of good wages for workers

HARRISBURG, March 11 – Pa. House Democratic Leader Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Allegheny, announced he will be introducing a plan to protect taxpayers by requiring any private company getting tax credits from the state for construction projects to pay workers the prevailing wage.

“Right now, only public construction projects are required to pay the prevailing wage so many union workers fought to deliver, but when public money is used for a private project, the taxpayers are partners in that project, and that means people building these projects should be paid the wage they deserve,” Dermody said. “Union workers getting paid a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work deliver better quality, and this is a better investment for taxpayers.”

Dermody said his bill would expand the state’s Prevailing Wage law to cover all corporations, companies and organizations that benefit from Pennsylvania tax credits to build projects. The prevailing wage requires workers to be paid wages and benefits appropriate to the pay scale for most workers in a community -- generally the prevailing wage is tied to the union pay scale for skilled labor.

“Prevailing wage works for everyone,” Dermody said. “Workers who are paid what they’re worth not only do a better job, but they spend those wages in the community – buying homes and cars, shopping at local merchants and supporting their neighbors. In fact, just this week even Republican leaders came out in favor of prevailing wage on major private projects using tax credits. My bill would extend this thinking to all private projects using tax credits.”

Dermody said he expects his legislation to be assigned to the House Labor & Industry Committee and to get quick action.