By Miriam Raftery
September 23, 2023 (La Mesa) –On Sept. 25, the La Mesa City Council will consider a staff recommendation to adopt a draft Project Labor Agreement with the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council and associated craft unions. The PLA would apply to public projects in La Mesa with a construction value of at least $1 million.
PLAs are pre-hire collective bargaining agreements negotiated between construction unions and construction contractors that establish terms and conditions of employment for construction projects.
According to the U.S.Dept. of Labor’s PLA Resource Guide, PLAs are an effective tool to ensure timely completion of projects at or under budget, provide employers with a reliable source of highly skilled workers,increase diversity and support equitable workforce development, and improve worker health and safety on the job.
Opponents of project labor agreements have argued that PLAs may increase cost by mandating union wages and restricting competition, are unfair to nonunion contractors and nonunion workers, and hinder use of employer training programs that are not union apprenticeships.