City manager pulls labor ordinance

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The city manager pulled an ordinance Monday night requiring Project Labor Agreements on all city construction projects over $4 million before the Assembly considered it.

City Manager Rod Swope said the city attorney needed to review the short law, and that it would return to the Public Works and Facilities Committee, where it originated.

"There are legal and factual issues that need further research," City Attorney John Hartle said.

Assembly Member Bob Doll said project labor agreements minimize labor disputes on city jobs sites and provide apprenticeships in the trades.

"(It's) the sort of thing this community needs to train and retain a quality work force," Doll said. "They're good for the city."

Every employee on the job down to subcontractors would be paid union wages and receive benefits while working on the project, Doll said.

Two critics of the labor agreements wrote letters opposing the action, saying that the city would spend more money and favor big construction companies.

The city has used the agreements for eight years, Hartle said.

Hartle said he advised the city manager to pull the ordinance.

"It was done a little too hurriedly because of the school remodel," he said.

Soon, the city will begin seeking bids for projects at two elementary schools.

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