Leaders in yet another county have decided to stand up against wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreement (PLA) mandates. This time, it is Westmoreland County, PA, where the county board of commissioners resolved on January 9 not to require PLAs on county funded construction.
This is an important step toward ensuring that taxpayers get the best construction at the best price for their hard earned tax dollars. This will also help guarantee that merit, not union affiliation, will determine how construction contracts are awarded in Westmoreland County.
The Western Pennsylvania Chapter of Associated Builder and Contractors issued the following press release, in which they thank commissioners for standing up for taxpayers and the 73.5 percent of Pennsylvania’s private construction workforce that chooses not to join a labor union.
Tax Payers in Westmoreland County Win as Project Labor Agreements Are Banned
Pittsburgh, PA – The Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Pennsylvania (ABC) praises Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners Chuck Anderson (R) and Tyler Courtney (R), who today passed a resolution banning project labor agreements (PLAs) in Westmoreland County.
This resolution follows a PLA that former County Commissioners Tom Balya (D) and Tom Ceraso (D) passed in 2009. The resolution benefits the tax payers of Westmoreland County, relieving them of the higher costs, unmet deadlines and reduced competition that PLAs are notorious for.
Keith Impink, Chairman of ABC and President of Westmoreland Electric commented, “With the economy struggling, it is illogical to support PLAs that drive up costs 25-30%.” Impink continued, “The mission of the Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners is to represent the residents with prudence and fairness; they accomplished that mission today.”
The County Commissioners asserted that all work should be awarded and performed on the basis of merit, regardless of labor affiliation, echoing ABC’s pro-competition beliefs. Eileen Watt, President of ABC stated, “PLAs not only cut out competition, but discriminate against women and minority workers as well. That is unacceptable for the tax payers of Westmoreland County.”
Watt continued “We cannot praise the efforts of County Commissioners Chuck Anderson and Tyler Courtney enough; they have the interests of Westmoreland County residents in mind.”
This is a huge win for taxpayers, particularly considering that the Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners approved PLA mandates as recently as 2009. This policy is likely to result in real cost savings for local taxpayers, and that is a good thing.