Fresno City Council Votes to Allow PLAs, Pay Prevailing Wage on Local Projects

November 13, 2014 - Reacting to the passage of State Building and Construction Trades Council sponsored bills SB 922, SB 829, and SB 7, the Fresno City Council has approved two measures to bring the city into compliance with those laws, by repealing its ban on project labor agreements, and requiring payment of prevailing wage to workers on municipal public works projects.

This legislation makes charter cities eligible for state funding for construction projects providing that the city does not have a blanket ban on PLAs in place, and pays workers on municipal public works projects the prevailing wage. To maintain its eligibility for those funds, Fresno therefore took action to clarify that PLAs can be required and utilized on local projects and that workers earn prevailing wage. 

Trying to save face amid a wave of prevailing wage compliance and PLA ban repeal measures, representatives from the Associated Builders and Contractors wrote the council in support of the PLA measure, expressing hope that a lawsuit seeking to overturn our legislation will succeed, resulting in reinstatement of the PLA ban. The ABC noted that Fresno’s ban, enacted in 2000, was “the first of its kind in the nation.” The letter is attached.

Congratulations to the Fresno Madera Tulare Kings Building Trades Council, Secretary-Treasurer Chuck Riojas, and local affiliates for their effective advocacy on behalf of these measures. This is a tremendous victory for the area’s Building Trades workers and unions. Fresno joins other cities throughout the state in changing their policies.

SBCTC President Robbie Hunter commented: “Because of SB 922, SB 829, and SB 7, city councils throughout the state are reversing barriers on paying prevailing wage and project labor agreements, which provide a highly skilled, streamlined workforce, with decent wages, apprenticeship training and well-built public works projects that benefit the entire community. The Building Trades’ united legislative advocacy has resulted in laws like this that protect taxpayers, provide for better projects, and drive the economy.”


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