N.Y. Carpenters Gain Support in Call for Fair Bidding in Yonkers

N.Y. Carpenters Gain Support in Call for Fair Bidding in Yonkers

Taxpayers are hearing local Carpenters' call for fair bidding on taxpayer-funded projects: Project Labor Agreements are good for Yonkers, good for business and good for middle class workers.

Yonkers, N.Y.— Members of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters and building trades officials are making their voice heard in New York’s Westchester County with their call to the city of Yonkers to promote fair bidding in publicly supported construction projects with the use of Project Labor Agreement (PLA) language on certain bidding contracts.

Recent decisions by the city’s Industrial Development Authority have effectively blocked local labor from participating in taxpayer-backed construction projects. Mayor Mike Spano's administration has previously indicated that it would work with local labor officials on projects that the IDA and the city supported, according to local NRCC officials.

Instead, the IDA has provided tax incentives to developers without PLA language, which then enables project bids that are unrealistic and creates conditions that contribute to payroll fraud on some projects — and that enable the use of unregulated labor that does not contribute any tax dollars to Yonkers-area communities, the NRCC said.

Yonkers-area Carpenters have been using their voice this week to explain to the public: Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) create a fair playing field that enables everyone involved in the project — from the owners, to the developers and the labor that builds the structures — a fair chance to bid on projects, using bids that reflect all of the costs of doing business in New York State.

The public demonstrations and information that the Carpenters are making available to the public come at a time when, all across the country, citizens are speaking out against business interests and public policies that effectively depress the wages of hard-working, middle-class Americans.

The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) claims that Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) prevent a level playing field. In fact, PLAs ensure that all stakeholders in a construction project are paid a fair wage for their work. As explained on the NRCC's Website, PLAs help to counter misguided policies whose only agenda is to depress wages for the middle class.

When PLAs are not included on projects, outside contractors are allowed to bid exceedingly low on projects. This creates conditions in which contractors have to later submit change orders that only drive costs higher than the original bid and create uncertainty on a project's cost,  a well-documented issue in the construction industry.

The public has been able to hear the Yonkers-area Carpenters as they call for Yonkers city officials to promote fair bidding with a simple message: PLAs ensure that all stakeholders on publicly-financed projects have a chance to contribute at a fair price.

More about PLAs can be viewed here.