Trenton – The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Nick Scutari that would extend the use of project labor agreements to more types of public building projects. The bill, S-1370, would extend PLAs to projects for highways, bridges, pumping stations, or water and sewage treatment plants.
“These agreements result in higher quality of work and safer conditions for workers,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “They also help ensure that projects are completed on time, which prevents delays and extra expenses. They are good for workers and the taxpayers.”
A project labor agreement is an agreement that a public entity, or the contractors it hires to perform a public works project, enters into with labor unions that sets labor and employment terms for the project.
“These agreements help ensure that large, complex projects are completed on time and on schedule,” said Senator Scutari (D-Union). “PLAs enable project managers to control costs and ensure that safety standards are maintained.”
This bill would expand the permissible uses of project labor agreements to allow public entities to enter into PLAs for any public works project that is subject to the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act and that costs $5 million or more.
The agreements can prevent unions from going on strike or businesses from locking out their employees, and establish the terms to resolve labor disputes. The agreements can also require contractors to have a federally registered apprenticeship program.
The Senate released the bill by a vote of 29-6.