Bernalillo County, the largest county in the State of New Mexico, is currently weighing an ordinance that would require a community workforce agreement (CWA), also known as a project labor agreement, on all county projects valued at over $5 million. The ordinance also says that at least three trades must be employed on the project for the CWA to apply. If passed, the ordinance would apply to all public works construction projects procured by the County unless the CWA jeopardizes state, federal, or other funding sources.
Requirements like the one in from of the Bernalillo County Commission have a well-documented public record of poor performance. There is overwhelming evidence that these types of mandates on public construction projects lead to fewer bidders, virtually no involvement from the nonunion construction community, and increased costs for taxpayers. At a time when revenues are down across the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is reckless and irresponsible for lawmakers to increase taxpayer obligations to benefit well-connected special interests.
Associated Builders and Contractors of New Mexico is leading the fight against this CWA and other anti-free enterprise efforts across the state. In 2012, the chapter was at the forefront of repealing a similar CWA in Santa Fe.
Contractors and other stakeholders may contact Bernalillo County Commissioners at Commission@Bernco.gov. Interested parties may also submit comments to the commission here before the September 22 deadline.