Five Years, 15,000 Jobs! $40 billion PLA for Building Trades

September 22, 2011 -  The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Thursday voted to negotiate a Project Labor Agreement with the Los Angeles/Orange County Building Trades Council for $40 billion worth of transportation construction work over the next five years.  The agreement is expected to produce as many as 15,000 construction jobs, starting with the construction of the Crenshaw light rail line.

The funding comes from Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase approved by a two-to-one margin by Los Angeles County voters in November 2008, with strong support from the Building Trades. That victory at the ballot box made today’s PLA, and the good jobs that will result, possible.

The MTA staff report listed the benefits of using a PLA for the work, including consistency in labor rates, locating targeting workers, ensuring they are appropriately trained, and providing sustained employment opportunities through apprenticeship programs.  The PLA is to include provisions for hiring local workers, workers in high unemployment areas, and disadvantaged workers.

The ABC opposed the PLA, but Los Angeles/Orange BTC Executive Secretary Robbie Hunter and building trades workers argued persuasively in favor of it, and the MTA supported it by an 11-1 vote.  Congratulations to the LA/Orange Building Trades on a great victory, to the thousands of workers who now have good jobs on the way, and to the people of Los Angeles for having the foresight to provide funding for an important transportation project.                                            


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