JERSEY CITY, NJ - A resolution by the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders to encourage colleges and universities in the county to use union labor on all construction project in excess of $5 million, and project labor agreements (PLA) on all projects in excess of $25 million, was passed unanimously on January 23.
PLAs are agreements established between construction unions working on the project and the contractors to ensure fair wages, benefits, and other working conditions.
“The fight for fairer wages begins with expressions of support like this from the elected representatives of the people,” said County Executive Tom DeGise. “Cooperation between government and academia can be a powerful driver in this effort as well. The Freeholder Board has provided both with this resolution."
The resolution offered a view of a mutually beneficial relationship among the county government, colleges and universities, and the organized labor community including through the “favorable” leasing of land in Lincoln Park for school use as athletic fields and tennis coutys, and the expenditure of $2 million to build a pedestrian bridge over John F. Kennedy Blvd. to serve a local university.
Additionally, the resolution said, labor organizations such as the AFL-CIO and the Hudson County Building Trades have done their part to support construction projects at colleges and universities in Hudson County by providing $20 million in tax credits and support favorable financial arrangements for them.
“When colleges and universities in Hudson County hire union labor they are putting Hudson County residents to work,” Paul Roldan, Building Manager of Laborers Local 3. “It also means they are setting a course for having a project delivered on time and on budget, and to a quality fitting of the Hudson County taxpayers who are ultimately paying the bill.”
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