Friday, June 26, 2009

PLA Legislation to be Introduced in Dutchess County


A Project Labor Agreement Resolution is being proposed by County Legislator Pete Wassell and will be introduced next month. We are asking union members to contact their Dutchess Legislator and ask them to become a co-sponsor of this important legislation.

PLA's were designed by the US Congress to produce the best work for public projects at the lowest cost to tax payers. PLA's increase productivity, set work rules, work times, holiday schedules, and wage rates, they provide a highly skilled supply of workers, they avoid work stoppages and leverage apprenticeship labor to reduce costs and build skills for the next generation of our local workforce. Most importantly, PLA's protect our borders - they are the only known legal way to guarantee local (Hudson Valley) worker employment. Otherwise, public project laborers can be brought in from out of state which deprive our residents of jobs and takes money out of our local economy.

The purpose of this resolution is to set the threshold amount for when PLA's need to be considered on Dutchess County government projects. The resolution calls for $3.5M as the threshold. Dutchess County would typically see a project of this magnitude approximately once every two years. Even if a county contact is over the threshold, PLA's are only initiated if a due diligence report shows a taxpayer cost savings. PLA project's do not cost more than any other project since government contracts require payment of prevailing wage.

Four nearby Republican County Execs and a local Republican Supervisor have gone on the record to promote the benefits of Project Labor Agreements. There Republican leaders are: Adrew Spano, County Exec, Westchester, C. Scott Vanderhoet, County Exec, Rockland, Robert Bondi, County Exec, Putnum, Edward Diana, County Exec, Orange, and Joan Pagones, Supervisor, Fishkill.

John Maraia Speaks to the Members

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I want to express my gratitude to all of the membership for your support. I look forward to your continued support as we work together to move forward and encourage you to participate in uniting the Local once again.

I am dedicated to working diligently and professionally with all elected officials to continue to run this Local effectively and always protect the interests of the membership.

I have scheduled a meeting for Monday June 29th with all the elected officials of the Local so we are already on our way to putting this Local back together. I believe it is in everyone’s best interest for us to begin to immediately look ahead and bridge the gaps that have developed.

Regrettably, I have not received a favorable response from all elected officials and one particular newly elected Executive Board member informed my office that he was directed not to attend.

I will continue to work for the good of the entire membership. Again, thank you for your support.

Fraternally yours,
John Maraia
Business Manager/Financial Secretary