Pa. County Thumbs Nose At Big Labor

The Lancaster County Commissioners passed, yesterday, an ordinance forbidding the use of county funds for any construction project with a project labor agreement or PLA.

A PLA is a binding contract with one or more labor unions that establishes terms of employment for a specific construction contract. It is applies to all contractors and subcontractors bidding on the project — including non-union firms. They also supersede any existing collective bargaining agreement.

The act, Ordinance 99, also prohibits PLAs for municipal projects using county grants.

Commissioner Chairman Scott Martin has pledged never to support a PLA while in office. He said the ordinance would prevent a future board from agreeing to a PLA without a public airing as would now be required to overturn the law.

About 84 percent of the private construction workforce is non-union.

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