In AMNY’s op-ed column, August 3rd, “To close racial wealth gaps, continue to expand prevailing wage” Mr. LaBarbera proposes an interesting proposal. But what he failed to tell you is he and others like to do the exact opposite by forcing Project Labor Agreements (PLA) on prevailing wage projects.
In the recently released NYS one-house budget bills, Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s) are proposed at least a dozen times resulting in billions of dollars for special projects. Also included is an expansion of prevailing wage on projects typically not subject to it. Unfortunately, all to the detriment of MWBE companies and workers of color.
PLAs cannot help but make projects cost more, simply because they limit competition at bid time. In addition, they often promise to “save money” on the very backs of employees by cutting labor rates and various benefits required by the New York State Department of Labor.
Support for inner-city, ethnically diverse workers needs to be demonstrated as our open shop industry has done. These prevailing wage efforts are proving to be nothing more than another market grab for special interests.