Glen Carbon leaders recently rushed into a vote on project labor agreements, leading Mayor Rob Jackstadt to question “where’s the fire?”
We’d like to know that as well.
There are some procedural issues here that may nullify the village trustees’ 4-2 vote to enact the agreements, so let’s hope they take the time for further study and seek taxpayers’ views on this issue.
When you put project labor agreements in place, you essentially guarantee that village construction projects will go to union workers. Proponents say the agreements guarantee work is done right, is done on time and can save money by avoiding work stoppages.
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We’re reminded of Cosmo Castorini in “Moonstruck” selling pricier copper plumbing to the yuppie couple: “It costs money because it saves money.”
But to accept that the agreements are always best for taxpayers would be to believe that:
• Excluding 80 percent of contractors, which is the percentage of non-union folks, is the best way to find someone to do the job. A high percentage of women-owned and minority-owned companies are non-union.
• Nonunion workers are incapable of doing a job well or doing a job on time.
• Twenty-three states, Ohio being the latest to join, don’t take to heart quality and cost issues. Those states, nearly half of our nation, have made the agreements illegal.
Those states believed that project labor agreements are restrictive, anti-competitive tools that increase the cost of a project. We hope the residents in Glen Carbon take this opportunity to let trustees know how they want their construction dollars spent.