Pennsylvania Worker Fights Union-Only PLAs

Pennsylvania Worker Fights Union-Only PLAs

On September 17, John Falk and a few companions set off on foot for Washington, D.C. At the end of the journey, they pled with Congress to stop PLA discrimination against union-free workers and firms. Image Credit: Daily Record/Sunday News—Jason Plotkin Obama Executive Order Denies Union-Free Workers a 'Fair Shake' (Source: October 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) John Falk, a genial 59-year-old glass worker from Red Lion, Pa., made a five-day trek on foot last month from his home state to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Mr. Falk and the three people who accompanied him -- a friend, a fellow worker, and his employer, Debra Zarfoss -- walked 89 miles to help mobilize public opposition to federal and state policies that discriminate against union-free employees and businesses. As Mr. Falk puts it, "We're not looking for a handout, bailout, or any other special favor. We just want a fair shake." Unfortunately, President Barack Obama and most current U.S. congressmen and senators are opposed to letting union-free workers like John Falk compete on a level playing field. Back in February 2009, one of the first major actions the President took after settling in at the White House was to issue Executive Order 13502, which promotes union-only "project labor agreements" (PLAs) on federally funded public works. This April, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council published a "final rule" implementing E.O.13502. 'Job Discrimination Because . . . of a Worker's Union Membership Is Flat Wrong' "E.O.13502 pressures federal agencies to acquiesce to PLAs on all large public works," noted Matthew Leen, vice president of the National Right to Work Committee.

Slow Learner vs. 'Never Learner' in Bay State?

Slow Learner vs. 'Never Learner' in Bay State?

In Traditional Big Labor Stronghold, Union-Only PLA's Under Fire (Source: July 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) If you want to make a Massachusetts taxpayer shudder, just say the words "Big Dig." Onetime "Big Dig" enthusiast Charlie Baker is touting his opposition to union-only PLA boondoggles as he campaigns for the Massachusetts governorship this year. Bay State voters may conclude: "Better late than never!" Credit: John Tlumacki/Boston Globe For years now, the "Big Dig," officially referred to as the Central/Artery Tunnel Project, has been widely recognized as a poorly constructed, extraordinarily expensive boondoggle. The "Big Dig" tunnel system was conceived in the 1970's to replace Boston's aging elevated six-lane Central Artery and improve access to Logan Airport and Boston Harbor. In 1987, Congress voted to furnish federal taxpayer funds, and ground was first broken in 1991. To the dismay of independent construction employees and firms and Right to Work advocates, Massachusetts politicians announced that the "Big Dig" would be subject to a union-only "project labor agreement" (PLA). Construction firm owners who wished to bid on the project, whether unionized or union-free,

Slow Learner vs. 'Never Learner' in Bay State?

Slow Learner vs. 'Never Learner' in Bay State?

In Traditional Big Labor Stronghold, Union-Only PLA's Under Fire (Source: July 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) If you want to make a Massachusetts taxpayer shudder, just say the words "Big Dig." Onetime "Big Dig" enthusiast Charlie Baker is touting his opposition to union-only PLA boondoggles as he campaigns for the Massachusetts governorship this year. Bay State voters may conclude: "Better late than never!" Credit: John Tlumacki/Boston Globe For years now, the "Big Dig," officially referred to as the Central/Artery Tunnel Project, has been widely recognized as a poorly constructed, extraordinarily expensive boondoggle. The "Big Dig" tunnel system was conceived in the 1970's to replace Boston's aging elevated six-lane Central Artery and improve access to Logan Airport and Boston Harbor. In 1987, Congress voted to furnish federal taxpayer funds, and ground was first broken in 1991. To the dismay of independent construction employees and firms and Right to Work advocates, Massachusetts politicians announced that the "Big Dig" would be subject to a union-only "project labor agreement" (PLA). Construction firm owners who wished to bid on the project, whether unionized or union-free,

'Mandatory Union Membership' Is PLA's Purpose

'Mandatory Union Membership' Is PLA's Purpose

Committee President Mark Mix: The Right to Work movement and its allies are challenging President Obama’s 2009 executive order promoting union-only "project labor agreements" on federal taxpayer-funded public works. (Source: June 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) Ohio Town Council Cuts Through Big Labor/White House Fog  Marietta, which has only about 15,000 residents, but enjoys a place of honor as the oldest city of any size in Ohio, is located more than 230 miles outside the Washington, D.C., Beltway.  And from the vantage point of Marietta's community building at Lookout Park, where the town council considered adoption of a so-called "project labor agreement" (PLA) on May 13, it appears to be far easier to see and state the obvious than it is at the White House or on Capitol Hill.  This spring, building trades union bosses lobbied furiously to convince the council's seven members to impose a Big Labor PLA on employees and firms seeking to participate in the renovation of the town's former Ohio Bureau of Employment Services building into a new municipal court facility.  Parkersburg Marietta Construction and Building Trades Council union President Bill Hutchinson claimed, time and again, that the reason he and his cohorts were twisting arms to get a PLA was to ensure that "local" workers got the jobs.  Finally, at the council's May 13 meeting, Councilman Jon Grimm decided to test building trades union bosses' sincerity.  Mr. Grimm called attention to the provision in the PLA mandating that 50% of any contractor's employees be registered with the union and pay union dues, even if they weren't union members, and didn't want to join.

'Mandatory Union Membership' Is PLA's Purpose

'Mandatory Union Membership' Is PLA's Purpose

Committee President Mark Mix: The Right to Work movement and its allies are challenging President Obama’s 2009 executive order promoting union-only "project labor agreements" on federal taxpayer-funded public works. (Source: June 2010 NRTWC Newsletter) Ohio Town Council Cuts Through Big Labor/White House Fog  Marietta, which has only about 15,000 residents, but enjoys a place of honor as the oldest city of any size in Ohio, is located more than 230 miles outside the Washington, D.C., Beltway.  And from the vantage point of Marietta's community building at Lookout Park, where the town council considered adoption of a so-called "project labor agreement" (PLA) on May 13, it appears to be far easier to see and state the obvious than it is at the White House or on Capitol Hill.  This spring, building trades union bosses lobbied furiously to convince the council's seven members to impose a Big Labor PLA on employees and firms seeking to participate in the renovation of the town's former Ohio Bureau of Employment Services building into a new municipal court facility.  Parkersburg Marietta Construction and Building Trades Council union President Bill Hutchinson claimed, time and again, that the reason he and his cohorts were twisting arms to get a PLA was to ensure that "local" workers got the jobs.  Finally, at the council's May 13 meeting, Councilman Jon Grimm decided to test building trades union bosses' sincerity.  Mr. Grimm called attention to the provision in the PLA mandating that 50% of any contractor's employees be registered with the union and pay union dues, even if they weren't union members, and didn't want to join.