League of Cities Latino Caucus Voices Support for PLAs

November 2, 2011 - The League of California Cities Latino Caucus has approved a resolution endorsing the use of Project Labor Agreements, noting an array of benefits that accrue from the use of PLAs, including expanded opportunities for minority and women workers and apprentices.  It concludes that the use of PLAs is necessary for creating opportunities for the working men and women of the Building Trades, and pledges to oppose any attempts to eliminate PLAs as an option for the cities and counties they represent.  The League of California Cities Latino Caucus, the fastest growing caucus of the League, charged with bringing the Latino voice to state and local government decisions, voted for the resolution at its October 2011 executive board meeting.

Affiliates are encouraged to share this resolution with elected representatives, city officials, community partners and other allies across the state.  Special thanks to Los Angeles Councilmember and Chair of the Latino Caucus, Tony Cardenas, San Jose City Councilmember Xavier Campos and the Los Angeles/Orange Building and Construction Trades Council for their assistance in passing this resolution. 

For more information regarding this resolution, please contact Michael de la Rocha, Legislative Deputy, Office of Councilmember Tony Cardenas, at (213) 473-7006.  The entire resolution follows.

League of California Cities Latino Caucus

Resolution Supporting Project Labor Agreements

WHEREAS, a Project Labor Agreement (PLA), is a business model used to deliver many private and public infrastructure projects on time and on budget; and

WHEREAS, each PLA is designed specifically to meet the needs of the project owner, manager or community which facilitate construction for complex construction projects; and

WHEREAS, a PLA is a risk management tool containing pre-hire agreements that establish work rules, pay rates, and dispute resolution processes for labor and management on the project, maximizing project stability, efficiency and productivity and are open to bids from non-union and union contractors; and

WHEREAS, over fifteen building and construction trades crafts work on a typical construction project with each union having separate collective bargaining agreements covering the work performed by the various crafts and where PLAs are carefully negotiated to cover all crafts on a single project; and

WHEREAS, PLAs contain craft work schedules to maximize efficiency and deliver a project on time, apprentice-journey level ratios to help train the next generation of skilled workers, no-strike and no-lockout provisions, alternative dispute resolutions, workers’ compensation cost savings procedures, and provide contractors who agree to perform the work under the terms of a PLA immediate access to a pool of well-trained and highly-skilled workers; and

WHEREAS, the working men and women of the California building and construction trades have fought many legislative, regulatory and electoral battles to preserve the option of entering into Project Labor Agreements for both public and private infrastructure projects; and

WHEREAS, wages under PLAs contain healthcare and pension benefits that reduce the burden on the public healthcare system, contribute to the local community and economy, and provide workers with fair retirement benefits after a career in construction; and

WHEREAS, PLAs level the playing field of fair competition for signatory contractors and non-union contractors—offering the employer and the general public a construction product that reduces cost by minimizing workplace injuries due to a highly skilled and trained workforce, on-time project delivery, and higher quality construction that results in less maintenance costs after the project is completed; and

WHEREAS, death and serious injury rates in construction are higher than any other industry; and the intentional failure to pay the prevailing wage by unscrupulous contractors willing to break the law for their own benefit, harms workers by cheating them of their proper wages, puts them at great risk of accident or death, raises the cost of construction for taxpayers and increases insurance costs for all law abiding contractors; and

WHEREAS, the prevailing wage contributes to California’s over 250 joint-labor management apprenticeship system that account for 95% of women apprentices and 92% of minorities; and which graduate almost 90% of all journeypersons trained for a rewarding career in 15 building and construction trades crafts; and

WHEREAS, academic research studies have found PLAs help deliver a project on-time and on budget, reduce cost overruns on public works and private projects, reduce construction injuries, and promote apprenticeship training for a rewarding career; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the League of California Cities Latino Caucus supports the use of Project Labor Agreements as an important construction delivery tool made available to local governments throughout California creating economic opportunities for the working men and women of the building and construction trades in California, and will oppose any attempts to eliminate this option for the cities and counties we represent.


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