Our political director’s report summarized the various measures that will be on the ballot this upcoming November. However, I wanted to provide a different perspective as to why voting “YES” on the November ballot measures matter to you.
Today I share my experience and observations administering project labor agreements (PLAs) for many awarding bodies during the great recession of 2007- 2009. As lending dried up in the private sector, many contractors turned to public works projects like LAUSD, LACCD and LAWA because they had already committed project monies from past bond measures. Many of these new contractors were non-union and inexperienced with publics works bidding requirements, paying prevailing wages, PLAs, subcontracting provisions and the heaviness of reporting and oversight requirements. Early on, a few non-union contractors were awarded work, but most were unable to finish the work or succeed.
Public works projects are no joke, and there is little administrative hand-holding or guidance. Union contractors received many awards and successfully completed these projects within budget and without delays because they already had past industry proficiency with bidding public works projects without error and union hands have the skillset and training to complete the work. Collectively, we check all the boxes – safety, experience with the complexity of public works payment procedures, prevailing wages, PLA compliance, Certified Payroll Record reporting and local hire.
The more bond projects, and bond projects with PLAs, that are in place during an economic downturn, the work for IBEW 11 members. This isn’t a buzz statement. It’s a fact, and it’s what I have observed during my career. This work is our bread and butter when other funding sources dwindle.
Vote “YES” on the school bond on your ballot
Vote “YES” on the City of Los Angeles’s Measure ULA
Vote “YES” on the Los Angeles Community College District $5.3 billion