Kansas Republicans have renewed their attacks on the rights of working families and union members by proposing a bill that would ban project labor agreements. We Party Patriots points out the benefits of PLAs:
We have listed time and again on this site the benefits of PLAs. They include: wage, safety and benefit standards as well as minority, female and veteran hiring requirements, to name a few. When anti-union extremists use the term “competitive” they intend to suggest that PLAs cut non-union contractors out of the bidding process. But, per usual, this is misleading and has been proven false not only in theory but in practice. What is truly “competitive” about PLAs are the workers’ wages and benefits they ensure.
Working Kansans, a labor group in the state, points out the key problems with the proposal:
It creates bigger government by putting the State government in the middle of contracting. Local and State entities should be able to negotiate the best terms for everyone involved without the State interfering in the negotiations. This will only make it easier for contractors outside of Kansas to come in and take way jobs from working Kansans. Workers make up the citizens in our community and those workers should have the right to receive better wages and terms on the projects in their community. This bill only progresses the race to the bottom by allowing out of state workers to come in and take away Kansas jobs from our friends and neighbors.
As previously reported, project labor agreements are are collective bargaining compacts connected to specific jobs that lay out the basic guidelines of how employment on the particular project is to work. PLAs have a long, successful history across the United States but are currently under heavy attack from conservatives seeking to undermine unions and workers. Conservatives regularly claim that PLAs cost jobs and harm non-union workers, but numerous studies and reports have rejected those claims.
Last year, the Kansas legislature attempted to ban payroll deductions for union membership, similar to attempts made by Republicans in Alabama in Florida. Republicans have also recently targeted project labor agreements in Idaho and Michigan, as part of their efforts to weaken the rights of working families across the nation.