Building Trades hit back on prevailing wage

State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter used a recent op-ed column to punch holes in the false narrative that the prevailing wage undermines California’s effort to resolve the low-income housing crisis.

“The bottom line on the prevailing wage is that the higher productivity of a highly-skilled and trained work force keeps added labor costs manageable – about 4 percent, according to the research of,” Hunter wrote in the article that ran July 24 in the East Bay Times. “And that’s before you add in the social cost savings when construction workers and their families don’t have to obtain food stamps or MediCal to survive.”

Hunter’s column responded to an opinion piece that ran July 7 in the East Bay Times. The article by low-cost housing advocates John Gamboa and Herman Gallegos quoted from misinformation about prevailing wage costs recently circulated by the California Center for Jobs & The Economy.

“It’s society’s choice, really,” Hunter wrote. “We either pay construction workers decent enough wages to live close to their jobs in high-cost regions of the state, or we force them into the underground economy where they will be hired off street corners by the most unscrupulous of developer/speculators.”

Read Hunter’s column here: