Since the Minnesota legislature passed funding for a new Vikings football stadium in May, Governor Mark Dayton has promised the project will bring much-needed jobs to Minneapolis. To boot, a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is likely to be used so the region’s workers are feeling assured that the jobs will stay local.
Members of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority advanced plans for the PLA stating that it will “promote labor harmony, secure a long-term supply of skilled workers, coordinate the work of multiple crafts, establish uniform terms and conditions, and provide a legally enforceable means of assuring peace and stability on public projects.”
Citing a “good working relationship with the building trades,” Vikings representative Lester Bagley favors a PLA. Bill McCarthy, an MSFA board member and president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, also praised the approach:
“…a PLA makes sense given the size of the project, the number of workers involved, and the need to coordinate multiple crafts and work schedules.
The no-strike and no lock-out provisions are important, he said, because a number of labor agreements will expire during the course of the project, and “we wouldn’t want that to affect the construction. We cannot have delays.”
While the PLA plan has gained broad support from an encompassing coalition of Minnesotans, it is being unsurprisingly opposed by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) which is recycling arguments about non-union exclusion:
Although non-union contractors are technically allowed to bid on such work, most don’t because they would have to pay into the union benefit plan — as well as their own plan — for the duration of the project and put their workers under union oversight, he said.
Minnesota has traditionally favored using PLAs on stadium construction. They were used previously in building the Metrodome, Target Field and TCF Bank Stadium.