1 min read

Season 3, Episode 39

Could Prevailing Wage soon return to West Virginia?



Guest Name:

Kelly Dierkes

Guest Website:


Guest Social Media:




Supportive Documents:

Iron Workers Local 549 Business Agent and President Kelly Dierkes joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the challenges of organizing in West Virginia, a So-Called “Right to Work” state that has repealed Prevailing Wage laws.

Local 549 represents IronWorkers across the state of West Virginia, as well as a few counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Dierkes said representatives from Local 549 and other Unions in the Mountain State are building a strong coalition of politicians, including some Republicans, who want to reinstate Prevailing Wage. He estimated they are about two election cycles away from bringing Prevailing Wage back to West Virginia.

He explained how he takes West Virginia politicians on tours of apprenticeship programs. Many of these individuals are anti-union and do not understand how apprenticeships work, nor the fact these U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeship programs are entirely self-funded. Oftentimes once these politicians complete the tours, they gain a new understanding of unions and what they can do for working people, he added.

Dierkes also spoke about the Bridge Formula Program, which will allocate $26.5 billion from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to help repair, replace and construct approximately 15,000 highway bridges. The program will provide good union jobs for Ironworkers in West Virginia, he said.

Lastly, he touched on some projects happening within the Local 549 jurisdiction, including work at gas-fired power plants in Cadiz, Ohio and Morgantown, W. Va., plus a $1 billion magnesium plant planned for Cadiz.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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