ABC Empire State Chapter president Steve Lefebvre testified January 31 to New York State Legislature Joint Budget Hearing on Economic Development to discuss the negative impact of wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreements (PLAs) on taxpayer funded construction.
(Mr. Lefebvre’s testimony starts at the 2:09 mark)
In his testimony, Lefebvre tells committee members a story we followed here on TheTruthAboutPLAs, regarding a PLA mandate the cost New York State taxpayers nearly $5 million.
The New York Department of Transportation refused to consider a bid from Lancaster Construction to perform work on a highway project in Orange County, NY because their bid did not conform to the department’s PLA mandate, even though Lancaster’s bid saved taxpayers $4.5 million and was scheduled to utilize more minority/disadvantaged businesses as subcontractors than the firm that won the project.
Lancaster Construction and its employees were passed over because they refused to agree to build this project under Big Labor’s terms.
PLA mandates deprive taxpayers of the opportunity to get the best construction at the best price. On public construction, they also limit the ability of the vast majority of the construction workforce to compete for projects funded by their own tax dollars. In New York, that means more than 70 percent of the state’s construction workers are left out in the cold.
We urge New York lawmakers to carefully consider S.4121/A.7855, the Public Construction Savings Act. This legislation would ensure that contractors – not government bureaucrats – decide when a PLA is most appropriate.