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Sep
2015
21

Long Beach Local Hiring Program Approved, Will Go Hand-in-Hand with Recent Project Labor Agreement

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At its last meeting, the Long Beach city council passed two measures aimed at helping the city’s workers. One creates a service, Long Beach First, to provide local workers to contractors and the other authorizes plans to spend $65,000 on a study of the possible effects of mandating a higher minimum wage. 

The two-year Long Beach First program passed unanimously and will function as a referral service connecting companies who receive city contracts with Long Beach workers.  

The council said the move was a follow-up to to the Project Labor Agreement signed in April between the city and the Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council. That agreement requires workers to be paid prevailing wages on any city project with a price tag of $50,000 or more.  The PLA also requires trade unions to use at least 40 percent local labor on the projects.

From the Long Beach Press-Telegram:

Long Beach First would apply to city contracts valued at greater than $100,000 for nonprofessional services such as custodial work or landscaping. The program would also be in place for construction contracts valued between $100,000 and $500,000. Contractors would be required to let Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network know when new jobs are available 10 days before hiring new workers.

That 10-day period would give Pacific Gateway a chance to refer Long Beach job seekers to the openings.
Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez explained that, “As far as us being able to create jobs, we can’t do that directly, but we can certainly look at good policies that can support those good jobs.”
The council’s approval of a minimum wage study means a $9/hour wage could be on its way.  As the Press-Telegram notes, both the Los Angeles city council and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors now have plans in place to raise minimum wages to at least $15 by 2020.
As part of the minimum wage study the council announced that community meetings will be held on the issue in September, October, and November. Residents will be able to provide and receive feedback on the issue.  City leaders hope to spur community involvement and ensure transparency.

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