Editorial: The Politics of PLAs

0 January 11, 2010  State & Local Construction, Uncategorized

Last week we covered the controversial decision by the Long Beach, California City Council to evaluate the use of a project labor agreement (PLA) on a $35 million airport terminal improvement project.

Over the weekend, the Long Beach Press-Telegram added another editorial to the growing number of newspapers skeptical of discriminatory and costly PLAs (“The Politics of PLAs,” 1/9/10).

The editorial is worth a read because it succinctly and accurately summarizes the special interest politics behind government-mandated PLAs – but here is the key takeaway.

Actually, there was no reason to put PLAs on the council agenda last week except politics. The better way to handle the matter was to leave it up to the airport director to recommend the best and most cost-effective approach.

Instead, unions and contractors got to promote their own interests, and certain politicians got to line up some campaign financing.

For us taxpayers, it was a reminder that the politics of PLAs are not always in our best interest.

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