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Council Hears Tales Of Wage Cheats Unchecked

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Union business agent Jason Mendenhall before Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of Kansas City Council

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kcur/local-kcur-899143.mp3

Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City doesn't have enough enforcers to guarantee prevailing wage is being paid on construction jobs. And the City Council has been told unions are willing to take up the slack.

The city human relations department concedes it's been at least a decade since repeat violators have been banned from doing business. Manager of Contract Compliance Sheryl Kaullen says staff to do the job has been cut by half.

Union representatives told council members today, they can police contractors doing city work. Jason Mendenhall is business agent with Heavy Construction Laborers Council 663 and says, --" we know the public bodies can't have the coverage that we so desperately need, so it's up to us to fund our own efforts to help insure compliance."

The city's human relations director said there are only enough inspectors to cover fewer than one in five job sites looking for wage violations.

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