Project Labor Agreements Don’t Put Local People to Work
The Dallas Township School Board voted 5-4 to table a motion to require a PLA on the construction of a new school on May 11. The PLA issue will now appear on the May 18 meeting agenda, at which time the board will make a final decision on whether to use a wasteful and discriminatory union-only PLA on this project.
When asked about the PLA discussion, school board president Karen Kyle told local media, “The board’s feeling was we would like everyone in the area to be able to work on this job, whether it’s union or non-union.” Putting people to work on projects in their own communities is important, especially in these tough economic times. Unfortunately, if approved, this PLA will GUARANTEE that a vast majority of the local construction workforce will not be able to work on this project. Instead, union workers from outside the community, including many from other states, will do the work.
It is simple arithmetic. In Pennsylvania, 80 percent of the private construction labor force has decided not to join a union. If approved, the PLA will essentially prohibit them from working on the new school’s construction. Consequently, there will not be enough local union labor to complete the project and the local union will bring in union workers from other communities, called travelers. While these travelers from places like Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Baltimore work on the school, 80 percent of the construction workforce in Dallas Township will stand idle.
If the Dallas Township School Board really wants to put local citizens to work, they will say NO to the PLA on May 18.