Unemployed Union workers in Southern California have something to celebrate as Los Angeles city officials have announced a Project Labor Agreement that would cover $1.5 billion worth of port projects. The agreement will set wages for workers, reserve jobs for people living in depressed local neighborhoods, and prevent work stoppages.
The Los Angeles Ports are the busiest in the nation and combined with Long Beach make up the 6th largest port in the world. The projects will create 20,000 new construction jobs, many of which will go to unemployed trade union workers. Deputy Mayor Larry Frank said, “Right now, the construction industry is depressed, 30 to 40 percent of the people have been sitting on the bench (at union hiring halls) waiting for work.”
According the Associated Press:
The labor agreement bans strikes and lockouts and sets asides at least 30 percent of the work for people living within 10 miles of the port—an area with high unemployment that also sees a lot of the traffic and air pollution from the port.
More than two dozen PLAs have been signed by various Los Angeles-area agencies in recent years. According to the Associated Press
A PLA is “one of the few ways in which you can actually impact some of the disadvantaged workers out there,” Board of Public Works Commissioner Steve Nutter said. “Now, we’re taking it to another level, which is (requiring) local hire.”
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