Talks have wrapped up in what the head of the state’s largest construction union calls the toughest negotiating sessions he can recall in his 26 years on staff at Local 139 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.
A union-aligned contractors group released a report Monday finding that amount of municipal contracts going to out-of-state companies increased by 53 percent in the first four months since Wisconsin rolled back its prevailing-laws this year.
Although they are keeping their lips sealed in public, construction officials are settling in for plenty of chin wagging at the bargaining table as the expiration dates for some of the industry’s biggest contracts quickly approach this spring.
Construction unions might think they caught a break last week with top Wisconsin lawmakers’ decision to take a proposal to repeal the state’s remaining prevailing-wage laws out of the state budget. But the reprieve is not likely to last long.