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Rail News: Labor

LACMTA OKs targeted hiring program for construction projects


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (LACMTA) board has approved a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Los Angeles/Orange County Building Trades Council that will require 40 percent of work hours on LACMTA projects to be performed by workers from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, and 10 percent of the hours performed by workers struggling with poverty or chronic unemployment.

LACMTA officials believe the agreement is a first for a U.S. transit agency because it requires the hiring targets for projects funded with federal dollars as well as those funded with local sales taxes, they said in a prepared statement.

Under the PLA, local construction trades unions will be the primary source of all craft labor employed on construction contracts for projects costing more than $2.5 million. Workers will be paid prevailing wages, and a no-strike provision in the agreement will ensure the work is completed under tight deadlines, LACMTA officials said.

The agreement does not preclude nonunion workers from obtaining the jobs or exclude nonunion contractors from participating in the projects, they said.

“This landmark program is part of a strategy to deliver public transit projects while creating jobs that will lift people out of poverty and into the middle class,” said Los Angeles Mayor and LACMTA Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa.

If LACMTA implements its long-range transportation plan, the work could amount to as much as $70 billion in construction work over the next 30 years, the agency estimates.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/31/2012