This is a big anti-worker day in Lansing. Here’s the latest, in the form of a press release from the House Dems.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Contact: Jessica Tramontana
Phone: (517) 974-6302
House Dems: Republicans Vote to Weaken Workplace Safety, Local Control
Plan passed by House Republicans would strip PLAs of their effectiveness
LANSING – House Democrats lashed out against a plan passed by House Republicans on Wednesday to prohibit certain collective bargaining provisions from project labor agreements (PLA), which would effectively ban the use of PLAs in Michigan. The plan passed on a party line vote.
“I have seen firsthand how PLAs can help spur economic growth and development, and revitalize a community,” said State Representative Joan Bauer (D-Lansing), who served as a member of the Lansing City Council for 11 years. “They also help resolve difficult employment issues and ensure projects are completed on time, which saves taxpayer dollars in the long run. While I certainly understand that some communities do not support PLAs, the Legislature should not replace a voluntary agreement with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy. This will only erode local control and hurt communities that use PLAs to boost their economy and support their workers.”
The plan passed by House Republicans today would prohibit local governments and other public entities from entering into a construction project if the contract contains certain collective bargaining terms that are commonly used in PLAs.
PLAs are voluntary agreements used to establish the terms and conditions of employment on construction projects that all contractors bidding on the project must abide by. They have been successful in both the public and private sector in Michigan and across the country for decades.
“This plan severely limits the flexibility and freedom that our local governments need to get the best value out of taxpayer dollars to stimulate economic development,” said State Representative Thomas Stallworth III (D-Detroit). “While PLAs are not necessary for every project, this plan would essentially take that option away for all public projects. PLAs help save taxpayer dollars, ensure that construction projects are done right from beginning to end and protect our workers by improving scheduling, workplace safety and training. As lawmakers, we must protect taxpayer dollars from being wasted on substandard work that puts the safety of our communities and workers at risk. For those reasons, and more, I simply could not support this plan.”
In addition to allowing construction owners more control over project management factors, such as workplace rules, wages, scheduling and worker training, PLAs give local governments a vital tool to hold contractors accountable for a quality finished product, which is critical for taxpayer-funded projects. PLAs also help ensure that jobs in Michigan go to Michigan workers, not undocumented workers from other countries.
“Once again, Republican leaders have put their personal interests ahead of the best interests of our workers,” said State Representative Charles Smiley (D-Burton). “PLAs protect our workers – they protect their jobs by making sure contractors hire Michigan workers, protect their rights and protect their safety while on the job. Yet by passing this legislation, House Republicans are removing the very foundation that strengthens PLAs and allows them to support our workers and their families.”
Press Secretary House Democrats