Sweeney Legislation Aiming To Keep Jobs In Nj Clears Budget Committee

Bill Would Expand Project Labor Agreements

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland) that would help keep jobs in New Jersey by expanding project labor agreements (PLAs) cleared the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today.

“The damage caused by Hurricane Sandy means we are going to be seeing construction and rehabilitation all over New Jersey. Doesn’t it make sense that those jobs go to New Jerseyans? We are staring at an unemployment rate that has remained nearly unchanged in three years. That means families and middle class folks are still in desperate need of jobs. That is why I want to ensure that it is New Jerseyans who are going to be put to work rebuilding the state,” said Sweeney.

The bill, S2425, would amend the 2002 law that allowed PLAs for certain kinds of public works contracts. Currently, PLAs are limited only to construction, reconstruction, demolition or renovation of public buildings at the public expense, other than pumping stations or water or sewage treatment plants. This bill would expand that list to include such things as highways, bridges, pumping stations, and water and sewage treatment plants.

Project labor agreements are used to resolve, in advance, potential labor disputes that could arise at a project site. Agreements generally contain provisions where a labor organization gives up its right to strike or to conduct slowdowns and agrees to settle all labor disputes through arbitration while continuing to work. In return, the labor organization gains exclusivity on the job.

The legislation now heads to the Senate floor.

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