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Prevailing wage in Lansing's crosshairs, and hope for the auto industry

Jan 17, 2015

Chevy's diesel-powered ZR2 at the North American International Auto Show. After a rough year, the excitement at Cobo Center has been a welcome change for automakers.
Credit Paige Pfleger / Michigan Radio

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Kyle Norris discuss a Republican plan to repeal the state's prevailing wage law, and whether things are looking up after a rough year for the auto industry.


Prevailing wage

A new legislative session is underway in Lansing, and Republican leaders say repealing the state’s prevailing wage law is a priority.

The law says people working on state-funded construction projects must receive union-level wages and benefits.

Gov. Rick Snyder says he has no plans to support a repeal. Lessenberry says that’s because he already made a deal with Democrats saying he wouldn’t.

“This sets the stage for a gun fight at the OK Corral between the Republican governor and the Republican Legislature,” Lessenberry said.

Auto industry

After a year plagued by recalls, this year’s North American International Auto Show has been a breath of fresh air for the auto industry.

Today, the show opens to the public after several days of press previews have generated plenty of excitement over new models such as General Motors’ Chevy Bolt.

Things are definitely looking up for auto companies, but Lessenberry says September’s contract talks are a cloud looming on the horizon.

“While nobody’s talking about a strike, there could be some very tense and acrimonious negotiations,” he said.

– Rebecca Kruth, Michigan Radio Newsroom