While Mitt Romney is bringing Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) into the nation’s purview via disparaging remarks on the campaign trail, California is providing the antidote to such partisan venom and approving PLAs in order to ensure efficiency, diversity and local hire on publicly funded projects.
In Long Beach, CA the Port of Long Beach Harbor Commission has announced that a PLA will be used on the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement. After issuing a “notice of intent” to award the 649.5 million contract to a joint venture team that includes Shimmick Construction Co. Inc., FCC Construction S.A., Impregilo S.p.A., Arup North America Ltd. and Biggs Cardosa Associates Inc. Commission, officials have instructed all parties to begin negotiating a PLA:
The Gerald Desmond Bridge is a major corridor for the nation’s trade system but has been slowly deteriorating as traffic volumes have increased. The project is to help alleviate congestion and increase safety, port officials have said.
Construction for the overall bridge replacement, estimated at about $1 billion, is expected to start in early 2013. Work is expected to last five years and create about 4,000 jobs annually.
The commission has instructed staff to negotiate a project labor agreement.
“It is the city of Long Beach and the surrounding areas that will benefit, not only economically from jobs, but billions of dollars will come to the region because of this new bridge,” Dines said. “It’s been a long time coming and I look forward to the ground-breaking ceremony in the near, near future.”
Concurrently, the Central Basin Municipal Water District Board of Directors signed a PLA in Commerce, CA, with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. The PLA is being used to ensure local hire in a hard hit region:
“This labor agreement will enhance the welfare of our entire region and it will guarantee that qualified local workers have first priority on these projects,” said Central Basin Board President Ed Vasquez. “This is an important day not just for us, but for every local family that we pledged to represent on this Board.”
“We are proud to be working with Central Basin,” said Robbie Hunter, the Executive Secretary for the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. “Partnerships like this one not only increase the productivity of the region, but the projects themselves are a driving force for the local economy.”