This bill contains a sensible pilot project to demonstrate the benefits of changing the current bidding activity involving public construction projects and Project Labor Agreements (PLA). The Business Council supports enactment of this bill.
- The taxpayers' interests must be served when government agencies spend money on public projects. When the results of a PLA "study" indicate that it is in the public interest to use a PLA on the project to obtain the lowest price, contractors should then have the choice to bid the contract with or without the PLA. If the contractor can otherwise complete the requirements of the job and present the lowest bid without the PLA, this insures that the taxpayers' interests are served.
- PLAs essentially require that construction workers be hired through union hiring halls. Since this directly and negatively impacts both male and female employees of the many construction companies that are non-union, the contractor should be able to bid a project with or without a project labor agreement in order to keep its own trusted and experienced workforce intact for the benefit of the project.
- Considering that 77% of workers in construction in New York State choose not to be union members, the decision to put a PLA in play for a particular project should include the bidding contractor. A process that has the effect of shutting out of public projects more than three quarters of the experienced construction workers in our state is unacceptable and needs to change.
For these reasons, The Business Council supports this pilot project and urges that it be enacted by the New York State Legislature.