An Introduction to Project Labor Agreements (PLA)

Project Labor Agreements (PLA's) are not new to California. The Shasta Dam, The Los Angeles' RT (Light Rapid Transit) system, the National Ignition Facility Project in Livermore, and the Metropolitan Water District's Eastside Reservoir are but a few of the major projects built in California through the use of PLA's.

Long used by major private corporations and public agencies, PLA's are a construction management tool that were unanimously endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 as advancing the purposes of Federal Labor law. Last year, in a unanimous decision the California Supreme Court similarly endorsed as consistent with California law the use of PLA's by public entities. These two landmark court decisions have effectively ended any legitimate legal challenges to the use of Project Labor Agreements in California.

But the solid legal foundation of Project Labor Agreements is only half the story. The compelling fact about PLA's remains the economical and efficient process that PLA's provide public agencies - ensuring that projects are built with a steady supply of highly skilled productive craftworkers and with labor harmony

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