TO THE EDITOR: This year, the governor’s budget includes language that any capital project over $10 million will include a mandatory Project Labor Agreement.
A recent legal case with New York State Department of Transportation sheds clear light on PLAs and, regardless of studies, the Lancaster case proved definitively that PLAs inflate the cost of projects to our taxpayers.
More egregious is that PLAs eliminate the vast majority of workers in New York from participating on those projects.
One of the requirements of a PLA is that the contractor use all-union forces except for his immediate supervisory staff. This is in spite of the fact that statistically over 70 percent of work forces in the state are not affiliated with any unions, and in upstate that ratio is much higher.
This law is another gift to organized labor, and it must be defeated.
If this becomes law, it would devastate our firm. The $10 million threshold is ridiculously and prohibitively low. Almost every single DOT project we bid now borders on or exceeds that number.
If this bill was currently law, on recent bids on both the Whiteface Mountain Highway Road and the Route 11 bridges over I-87, our firm would have been prohibited from using our own local labor force, who have consistently advocated 100 percent in house to remain unaffiliated with the unions.
How do we explain to almost 200 employees that they can’t work because they chose to remain merit-shop employees? How could their legislators possibly explain that to them?
I urge our local and state politicians to take strong leadership to eliminate this line from any approved budget.
If this law is passed, there will be a great number of newly unemployed workers in the northern five counties, and that burden will lie directly on the backs of our legislators.
Luck Brothers Inc.