WHAT IS IT?
New Castle County Council is preparing to introduce legislation which will require the use of Project Labor Agreements on all public construction contracts.
A project labor agreement requires all contractors, whether they are unionized or not, to subject themselves and their employees to unionization in order to work on a government-funded construction project. This is done by including a union collective bargaining agreement in a public construction project's bid specifications. In order to receive a contract, a contractor must sign the agreement and subject its employees to union control.
Project labor agreements usually require contractors to grant union officials monopoly bargaining privileges over all workers; use exclusive union hiring halls; force workers to pay dues to keep their jobs; and pay above-market prices.
WHO DOES IT HELP?
This proposed legislation is supported by labor unions. It provides them a substantial advantage over non-union “merit shop” firms. It also reduces competition in bidding for jobs.
WHO DOES IT HURT?
This legislation would negatively impact New Castle County Taxpayers by increasing the cost of public construction.
The ordinance would also unfairly impact non-union firms who might otherwise successfully bid for the work for a lower price to New Castle County Government and, by extension, New Castle County taxpayers.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR OUR MEMBERS?
Adequate infrastructure and cost-effective capital spending at all levels of government are important policy aims which help foster a healthy economic environment.
THE CHAMBER’S VIEW
The effective stewardship of tax dollars is a key responsibility of policymakers. Additionally, government should not be actively promoting the interests and competitiveness of one group of firms over another. The New Castle County Chamber of Commerce opposes this proposal.