When construction workers start a project, flaggers play a crucial role on the work site. Their responsibilities include directing traffic and providing safety to both pedestrians and drivers. Flaggers commonly work on road construction projects and may be employed directly by contractors or through staffing agencies that specialize in meeting the labor needs of construction companies. They also may be part of labor unions, which can lead to a higher earning potential due to compensation rates set through collective bargaining agreements.
Aside from the base salary, construction flaggers can receive additional benefits and perks to enhance their overall compensation package. This can include paid time off, health insurance, vacation days, and 401(k) contributions. Additionally, specialized certifications and training can be a key factor in determining how much a flagger earns. For example, earning the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) Flagger Certification can help to elevate a worker’s earnings potential.
Despite his newfound success as a flagger, Ballast began to feel exploited by his job. He realized that he was paid far less than the other nonunion construction workers on his work sites, even though he did the same work as them. Ballast did some research and learned that New York law requires flaggers working on public or government-funded construction projects to be paid prevailing wages, which are usually significantly higher than minimum wage. However, these prevailing wage rates are not explicitly written into the labor law and can be difficult to understand for construction workers.