1/31/11

Union-Only The Law of the Land

Labor-states, Congress curb non-union work
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has affirmed a lower court ruling giving the Department of General Services the green light to require union laborers work on its construction projects.

Commonwealth Court ruled in late 2009 that state entities are allowed to require any contractor bidding for a job to sign a labor agreement that promises no work stoppages and a timely finish to the project. In turn, the state entities promise to use all union workers and contractors that abide by collective bargaining agreements.

The Supreme Court opinion, written by Judge Dan Pellegrini, was a blow to a group of nonunion laborers who asked the court to enjoin the Department of General Services from using a project labor agreement, or PLA, on its renovations of SCI Graterford prison or on any other DGS projects moving forward.

The nonunion laborers argued the PLA unlawfully discriminated against nonunion workers by putting them at such a competitive disadvantage to union workers that they deprive nonunion shops from bidding or working on the projects. They also argued project labor agreements deprive the public of receiving the benefit of the lowest possible cost, according to the opinion.

Judge Pellegrini said there was little Pennsylvania law in this area, though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the agreements do not run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act.
(from post-gazette.com)

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