With the support of the Mayor, Toledo City Council approved legislation yesterday authorizing Project Labor Agreements to be implemented on all major city-funded construction projects.
Approved by a 9-2 vote, ordinance 200-16 states all city-funded construction contracts valued at $100,000 or more are subject to a PLA negotiated by the Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council.
Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson told the Toledo Blade the legislation was needed to ensure the city uses local highly-trained and highly-skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen and to make sure construction contractors are following the rules and paying all taxes and proper wages on work done on city projects.
She cited the Riviera Maia Apartments project as a prime example of a project where a PLA could have helped. In this particular case, the contractor was underpaying workers and not paying taxes to the city, the mayor said.
The ordinance was well-received by council members, as 80 percent voted in favor of the PLA legislation; councilmembers Tom Waniewski and Sandy Spang voted against it.
Councilman Matt Cherry, Business Agent for Sheet Metal Workers Local 33, had to abstain from the vote due to his construction trades affiliation.
The passage of this important ordinance will guarantee the area’s most-skilled craftsmen will be working on the city’s larger construction projects, while also guaranteeing labor stability on these projects.
Shaun Enright, Executive Secretary of the Northwest Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, told the Blade the legislation was greatly needed because some contractors were not paying their workers proper wages or providing them with benefits.
Enright thanked the members of the NWOBCTC Executive Board and all the Business Managers who helped to educate the Mayor, administration and members of council on the benefits of PLAs. David Fleetwood, Business Manager of Laborers Local 500, worked especially hard to reach out members of council and speak with them to dispel negative stereotypes about PLAs and discuss the positive effects this ordinance will create in the city, Enright said.