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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Signs Project Labor Agreement Act

In a move that Building Trades union members hope will set a precedent for Governors in other states, Pat Quinn of Illinois yesterday signed The Project Labor Agreement Act, HB 2987, which local news affiliate ABC-7 says “aims to ensure a fair bidding process for women and minority-owned businesses seeking state contracts.”

PHOTOS of the Signing Appear on the Illinois Pipe Trades Facebook Page

President Obama has already signed an Executive Order encouraging the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on large-scale, federally funded construction projects, a move Quinn made as well in March of 2010. From the Governor’s press release at the time:

“Project labor agreements are important to ensuring that public works projects are run in a responsible manner that saves the state money and also ensures worker safety,” said Governor Quinn. “I urge state agencies awarding public works contracts to utilize PLAs on projects that use state or federal funding.”

The Building and Construction Trades unions have recently mandated even higher community involvement standards on all PLAs than in the past, with heightened local hire requirements and the demand for training and hiring of veterans returning from war through the Helmets to Hardhats program. The benefits to women and minorities are a highlight no other construction contracting mechanism can provide. As important are the local hire provisions which ensure that local workers will be building and benefitting from local projects, thus enabling them to funnel their earnings back in to the local community.

This are currently active PLAs in all 50 states. The Grand Cooly and Hoover Dams, both completed ahead of schedule and under budget, are early examples of PLAs being used on federal projects.


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