In a May 25 letter to the editor (“Project Labor Agreement Hinders Banks Work,” 5/25/10) published by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Robert Strobel of Lithko Contracting, Inc. points out the real reason that Big Labor is pushing for PLAs on all future Banks riverfront development projects.
Here is the letter to the editor:
Project Labor Agreements Hinder Banks Work
May 25th, 2010, 12:20 am
Why do our city and county governments continue to indulge the building trade unions by negotiating for a project labor agreement (PLA) on the Banks construction? So far, the project has been proceeding on time, under budget, and is aligned closely with the project’s goals for minority and women inclusion. I know because we are one of the contractors who have worked on the Banks project. These projects currently fall under the federal, state and local prevailing wage programs ensuring an equal compensation and benefit package.
A project labor agreement will accomplish nothing to achieve the goals of the city and county as the project owners. By limiting the work to union contractors only, there will be far fewer bidders, thus increasing costs as a result of less competition. Our company will not bid on this work if there is a project labor agreement. Our co-workers have chosen not to belong to a union. Our efforts in hiring local residents, partnering with minority firms will be eliminated from future projects. The same is true of the other open shop contractors who have had or currently have contracts to work on the Banks.
Project labor agreements are nothing more than a gift to the unions – they are bad public policy and should not be considered for any of the remaining construction on the Banks. It is time for our local elected officials to recognize that and do the right thing to keep taxpayer costs down and to keep the work within our community.
Robert J Strobel
Lithko Contracting, Inc.
Well put. PLAs often have a negative impact on economic development. Ask our friends from Gaylord Hotels.