A Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed argues that prevailing wage laws, a union favorite, are discriminatory towards minority workers. The author takes issue with Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage law, which was passed in 1961, 30 years after the Davis-Bacon Act. Prevailing wage law sets “minimum” wages for public works in a particular region.
Historically, prevailing wages were used to prevent black laborers from taking public construction jobs (re: union jobs). Today, prevailing wages are just another barrier to entry for firms trying to compete for public contracts, especially non-union firms.