The University of Iowa Board of Regents gave its final approval to a proposal to require a wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreement (PLA) on the construction of the $72 million University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics outpatient clinic at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville, IA.
As we have reported in an earlier post, University of Iowa regents were under pressure from Gov. Chet Culver’s (D) administration to require a PLA on this project. This is one of several state and local government-mandated PLAs in Iowa since Gov. Culver issued Executive Order 22, which encouraged state agencies to consider using PLAs on state projects costing more than $25 million.
With recent polls showing Gov. Culver trailing former Governor – and PLA opponent – Terry Brandstad (R) by double digits, it is clear that Gov. Culver’s push for PLAs is part of a larger effort to entice Big Labor into putting money and manpower into the gubernatorial race on his behalf.
Here is an excerpt from the Iowa Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors’ media statement on the Board of Regents decision to require the PLA on this project:
“We are very disappointed in the 5-3 partisan vote taken by the Regents on Thursday, August 5, 2010 to implement a PLA for the new outpatient clinic at Iowa River Landing in Coralville, IA. PLAs are blatantly discriminatory as the language prohibits merit shop contractors from being able to use all of their own workers, making it impossible to bid on such a project. PLAs, which are contract agreements written by union bosses, are designed to ensure that projects are awarded only to unionized contractors. In Iowa, 8 out of 10 construction workers have chosen not to join a construction labor union. A union negotiated contract, such as the one the five democrat members of the Board of Regents forced on the University of Iowa, specifically prevents such a large majority of Iowa’s construction workforce from working on a project. This is blatant discrimination and the Culver cronies on the Board of Regents took this partisan action under direct pressure from Governor Culver who signed an executive order earlier this year requiring state agencies to consider using these discriminatory agreements. Iowans deserve leaders who do not make decisions simply meant to reward political donors. In this case, Big Labor is the winner, at the expense of the majority of Iowa workers – – hard working, tax paying citizens who have chosen not to join a union.”
The Rapid City Gazette also covered this vote on August 9 (“Construction Association Disappointed in Regents Vote,” 8/9/10).
Here at TheTruthAboutPLAs.com, we encourage taxpayers to see through the rhetoric and understand what this PLA means for the people of Iowa. It is nothing more than a taxpayer funded handout to Big Labor in exchange for political support this fall.