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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]