The New York State Assembly passes a new law, attached to the 2008 budget at the last moment. The law allows local governments and schools to opt out of the Wicks Law by signing a Project Labor Agreement or (PLA).
Non-union contractors are complaining because the law requires PLA’s to be with contractors employing union workers and agreeing to a union based apprenticeship program.
“Many of them will go out of business, particularly the ones who do the majority of their work in public works. They won’t be able to work on these projects, not because anything says that they can’t, but because under a PLA they can’t use their own workers and, for most of them, that’s going to mean they won’t bid the project,” said Rebecca Meinking, President of the Associated Builders and Contractors.
I say, screw non-union, low paid, terrible or in many cases, no-benefit, employers. Step up to the plate and pay wages on scale with union wages with decent benefits, of get lost.
I’m sick and tired of conservative business owners bashing union skulls in. They claim project costs will go up. Go up? Up from where? My family has been involved in the commercial contracting business for forty years. Low-bid contractors don’t bid significantly lower. They bid marginally lower and pocket the extra profit!!! (The new model for American business) That is a fact.
Labor leaders call the complaints from non union contractors baseless. They say no one is blocked from the bidding process by the changes and that no one is forced to abandon the use of non-union workers already on their payrolls. Th problem is that these non-union contractors do not have state approved apprenticeship programs like unions do. So, non-union workers will simply have to join a union to become an apprentice and find decent work.
Now that the shoe is on the other foot, non-union contractors are getting screwed for a change.
I say it’s about time. This a good for the American worker. Remember, unions built this country, not day workers and under-skilled labor.
The law is set to take effect July 1st.
Read about Wicks Law here…
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