Assembly supports labor agreements

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008

JUNEAU - Sitting before an audience of union workers bearing "PLA" stickers, the Juneau Assembly on Monday passed an informal resolution supporting Project Labor Agreements on all city construction projects.

The Assembly will support labor agreements to the extent permitted by law, said Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho.

The resolution was nonbinding.

Proponents say labor agreements save money and reduce labor issues; opponents say the rule would exclude nonunion contractors from bidding on city projects.

During a Feb. 25 Assembly meeting, an ordinance requiring city construction projects to have labor agreements when they are valued at $4 million or more was pulled before introduction on the advice of the City Attorney John Hartle, who said there were legal issues.

With a tight summer construction schedule ahead, the bidding process for renovations at Glacier Valley Elementary School were delayed for one week while the city decided whether to require contractors to honor labor agreements.

City Engineering Director Roger Healy said that any contractor, union or not, could bid for city projects requiring a labor agreement. But labor agreements would be required to secure the job, he said.

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