LANCASTER, LANCASTER COUNTY—Lancaster County Commissioner Scott Martin wants to ban Project Labor Agreements for Construction Projects in the county. A project labor agreement or PLA requires all contractors, whether they are unionized or not, to subject themselves and their employees to unionization in order to work on a government-funded construction project. This is done by including a union collective bargaining agreement in a public construction project's bid specifications. In order to receive a contract, a contractor must sign the agreement and subject its employees to union control.
"As I see Project Labor Agreements starting to be utilized in other areas of the Commonwealth, I believe it is important that this action be taken to preserve fair and open contracting for government projects, ensure that we attain the most competitive costs for taxpayers and to offer a process that doesn't exclude 85% of the workforce from competing for government projects," stated Commissioner Martin, Chairman, Lancaster County Board of Commissioners.
Martin plans to introduce an ordinance banning PLA's at Wednesday's Commissioners meeting at the Courthouse annex at 150 North Queen street.
The text of the proposed ordinance:
ORDINANCE NO. 99 AN ORDINANCE OF THE COUNTY OF LANCASTER PROHIBITING PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS FOR CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
On motion of Commissioner ________, seconded by Commissioner ________;
WHEREAS, The County Commissioners of Lancaster County wish to promote competition in government contracting and to encourage efficient use of government funds; and
WHEREAS, The County Commissioners believe that it is in the public's best interest to fairly consider all qualified and capable contractors and workers for government contracts; and
WHEREAS, The County Commissioners believe that a ban on the use of project labor agreements (known as "PLAs") ensures fair and open competition for government contracts; and
WHEREAS, The County Commissioners wish to prohibit any and all project labor agreements beyond those which are required by the State or Federal governments or are required to receive funding from the State or Federal government, though we would prefer they would ban the practice, as well; and
WHEREAS, The County Commissioners believe every qualified contractor should be allowed to compete for and to be awarded work on every construction project based on the contractor's merit; and
WHEREAS, The County Commissioners oppose "union only" requirements on construction projects; and
WHEREAS, The County Commissioners oppose any requirement that a successful bidder or any of its subcontractors must utilize workers represented by a designated labor organization or referred by a designated labor organization exclusively; and
WHEREAS, The County Commissioners oppose any requirement that a successful bidder's non-union workforce or any of its non-union subcontractors' workforces affiliate with or pay dues to a labor organization; and
WHEREAS, The County Commissioners oppose any requirement that a successful bidder's non-union workforce or any of its non-union subcontractors' workforces recognize a labor organization as the exclusive representative of any of its employees. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER ENACTED AND ORDAINED by the Board of County Commissioners of the County of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as follows: SECTION 1: For the purpose of this Ordinance, the following definitions shall apply: a. "Contractor" shall mean and include a contractor, subcontractor, material supplier, carrier or other person or firm engaged in the completion of a construction project. b. "Construction project" shall mean and include any project for the construction, rehabilitation, alteration, conversion, extension, maintenance, repair, or improvement of any structures or real property; c. "Project labor agreement" shall mean any pre-hire, collective bargaining or similar type of agreement entered into with one or more labor organizations, employees or employee representatives that establishes the terms and conditions of employment on a construction project. SECTION 2: Except as required by State or Federal law as a contracting or procurement obligation, or as a condition of the receipt of State or Federal funds, the County shall not require a contractor on a construction project to execute or otherwise become a party to a project labor agreement as a condition of bidding, negotiating, awarding or performing a contract.
SECTION 3: Any local municipality or organization receiving funds from the County related to or in connection with a construction project shall not require a contractor for the construction project to execute or otherwise become a party to a project labor agreement as a condition of bidding, negotiating, awarding or performing a contract, except as required by State or Federal law as a contracting or procurement obligation for the construction project, or as a condition of the receipt of State or Federal funds for the construction project.
SECTION 4: Nothing in this Ordinance shall be construed as prohibiting any contractor from bidding, negotiating or performing work on County construction projects or on projects receiving County funding.
ENACTED and ORDAINED this ______, day of ___________ 2011 by the Board of Commissioners of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in lawful session duly assembled.
Scott F. Martin, Chairman
________________________________ __________________________________ Andrea McCue, Chief Clerk Dennis P. Stuckey, Vice Chairman County of Lancaster, PA Date: January 26, 2011 __________________________________
Craig E. Lehman
Board of Commissioners of
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania