The Lancaster County Board of Commissioners announced on January 26, 2011, that they passed an ordinance banning the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) “on all county-funded construction projects.” With the passage of Ordinance 99, all Lancaster County projects will now have open bidding, instead of exclusively being available to only union contractors. Of course, union workers will also be able to bid on projects, but the hope is that Ordinance 99 will even the playing field.
Commissioner Scott Martin, of the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners, says:
As I see Project Labor Agreements starting to be utilized in other areas of the Commonwealth, I believe it is important that this action be taken to preserve fair and open contracting for government projects, ensure that we attain the most competitive costs for taxpayers and to offer a process that doesn’t exclude 85% of the workforce from competing for government projects.
This marks the first time that PLAs have been banned in Pennsylvania, at the county level. With this new ordinance in place, it should help to guarantee that local taxpayers receive the best construction work at the most competitive price.