North Bay Business Journal

Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 5:00 am

Share your thoughts: Project labor agreements needed in Sonoma County?

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    NBBJ Pulse Poll

    Do you think Sonoma County needs project labor agreements on public works projects?

    • Yes (58%, 2,025 votes)
    • No (42%, 1,459 votes)
    • Don't know (0%, 17 votes)

    Total voters: 3,501
    Polling period: September 19, 2012 @ 12:05 am – September 25, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

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    This NBBJ Pulse Poll ends Sept. 25. View all polls.

    Leave your thoughts on the types of projects that should or shouldn’t have project labor agreements, the structure of PLAs and other ideas in the Comments section below.

    A battle is brewing between big business and labor in Sonoma County over the prospect of the Board of Supervisors’ possibly adopting a project labor agreement for public construction projects of over $25 million.

    The board heard arguments for and against the proposal of a project labor agreement on Tuesday, with impassioned arguments on each side of the issue. After a nearly five-hour hearing, the board directed staff to study a number of concerns supervisors raised and bring revisions back before construction starts a large expansion of Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport, a project being considered for a PLA.

    North Coast Builders Exchange, a trade group representing builders and contractors, has already come out as vehemently opposed to the proposal, saying such agreements drive up construction costs and discriminate against non-union contractors. 

    But Lisa Maldonado, executive director of the North Bay Labor Council, which is affiliated with AFL-CIO, disputes that notion, saying instead that such agreements help provide transparency, provides local workers with jobs and ensures that workers aren’t exploited. [read more]

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    1 Comment

    1. January 15, 2014, 10:00 am

      by Evelyn Gibson

      Project Labor Agreements…absolutely NOT. I agree with what Mr. Woods told the board of supervisors. “We have no beef with unions. We do have a big beef with PLAs. What you’re looking at here is unfair competition. It’s discriminatory.” Why not let a competitive bid process determine who gets the bid…union or non-union. There’s room for both.

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