California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law this week a bill that says local governments cannot issue blanket prohibitions on project labor agreements (PLAs) without losing state funding for public works projects.
Los Angeles and San Francisco recently approved PLAs for projects that will create tens of thousands of good, middle-class jobs. But other cities—including San Diego— have tried to ban the agreements.
Around the country, Republican lawmakers with model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have been pushing bans on PLAs.
PLAs are pre-hire agreements between labor and management. The agreements generally require construction jobs to be filled by local workers, include diversity requirements and establish wages and work rules covering overtime, working hours and dispute resolution. They also ensure that safety guidelines on the job site are enforced and protect taxpayers by eliminating costly delays due to labor conflicts or shortages of skilled workers.
In California, a bill similar to the legislation Brown signed was approved last year, but Republican lawmakers claimed it contained a loophole that would allow municipalities to ban PLAs. The new law, says Cesar Diaz, legislative director of the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC):
makes it crystal clear that local governments must remain free to consider whether to use PLAs if they are to receive state funding for construction projects.
Read more from Steve Cooper at the We Party Patriots blog.