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Legislative Memo

Darren Suarez
Director of Government Affairs
T 518.694.4461
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.8326 (Murphy)

Support

SUBJECT:

Indian Point Closure

 

DATE:

June 5, 2018

 

The Business Council opposes this bill which would mandate a Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for a private company due to economic and political conditions is being forced to close. Additionally, the legislation requires a plan with a workforce retention component which shall utilize the existing labor force during the closure and decommissioning period.

There is little doubt that the closure of Indian Point will have a massive impact on the workers and the community in and around the facility. Indian Point has been a good neighbor and a valued employer but the provisions of this legislation are burdensome and punitive to the wrong party. Requirements to enter into PLAs and retain staff that are not trained in decommissioning are wrongheaded.

PLAs have proven to increase the costs of construction. A comprehensive 2006 study 1 by the Beacon Hill Institute found that school construction costs in New York were 20 percent higher when a project labor agreement was used.

The Beacon Hill Institute has conducted numerous reports on the effects of PLAs on school construction bids and costs of PLAs in Massachusetts, Connecticut and the state of New York. In both the Massachusetts and Connecticut studies, the analysis found final construction costs to be significantly higher when a school construction project was executed under a PLA. In the New York study, the Beacon Institute found that final bids for construction projects were higher under a PLA.

In addition PLAs have not prevented strikes, in July 2015 union carpenters walked off twenty job sites in and around New York City despite twelve of the sites being subject to a PLA that specifically prohibited striking. Work only began again after a federal judge intervened. 2

Behind the policy debate lies the basic fact that if PLAs actually delivered reliable cost savings, there'd be no need to require them. After all, contractors looking to win competitive bids already want to keep their costs low.