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Apr
2015
29

Long Beach Commission Unanimously Authorizes PLAs for Upcoming Harbor Work; Long-Term Deal Considered

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An artist’s rendering of the proposed Middle Harbor redevelopment

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On Monday Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners voted unanimously to support implementing a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) on Phases 2 and 3 of the Middle Harbor project, which will cost roughly $300 million. Long Beach Harbor Commission Board President Doug Drummond proposed the move in the interest of local hiring, and stressed the importance of creating pre-apprenticeship training for Long Beach residents through a partnership with the Los Angeles/Orange County Building Trades Council .

Prior to the vote, Drummond told The Long Beach Press Telegram:

“PLAs are sound policy that we can use to leverage the funds we use for construction projects and reinvest into our local community and help employ local residents,” Drummond said. “I believe a port-wide PLA with the LA/OC Building Trades will be for the betterment of our port and our local economy.”

The harbor commission followed a path paved by the city council which, earlier this month, voted in favor of using PLAs for all city projects over $500,000.  Their proposal also requires contractors to use 40 percent local labor.

The Harbor Commission discussed, but eventually tabled, a plan to use PLAs on all construction projects at the Port of Long Beach.  After hearing mostly pro-PLA testimony the commission decided to review the long-term agreement further with a subcommittee.

Among those on the fence was Commissioner Lou Anne Bynum, who said the commission should explore how small businesses will gain more access to work under PLAs.

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a PLA,” Bynum said, “my concern is that we give attention to small businesses in the process.”

The commission could readdress the portwide PLA as early as June 22nd.

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