Lawsuit Challenges Prevailing Wage Reinstatement

Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan (ABC) and the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation have filed suit challenging Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement mandating union wages on state construction projects.

ABC, whose members make up more than 80 percent of contractors in the state, argues the governor violated the separation of powers by unlawfully reinstituting a policy that was repealed by voter-initiated legislation in 2018. The groups claim the actions directly harm employers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and taxpayers alike. At a time when the cost of construction is skyrocketing, prevailing wage further raises the cost by creating an arbitrary wage floor. They say the policy prices out the thousands of nonunion contractors and subcontractors in the state.

Rather than choosing the highest quality bidder for the lowest cost, the lawsuit claims state policy will once again favor unionized labor, resulting in a much higher cost to taxpayers.