Lancaster County Commissioners Ban PLAs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 26, 2011

Lancaster County Commissioners Act to Ensure Workforce Fairness

(MANHEIM) Keystone Chapter, Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. (ABC) – Lancaster County, led by Commissioner Scott Martin, passed an ordinance to ban the use of discriminatory project labor agreements (PLAs) on all county-funded construction projects. Ordinance number 99, introduced by Martin and seconded by Commissioner Stuckey, took a proactive approach to ensure that all contractors could bid on construction work and that all workers could work on projects.

Under typical PLAs, contractors who are successful at winning a bid must use union workers only to complete the job. In the rare cases in which a contractor is allowed to use his own workers, those workers must pay union dues and follow union work rules. With the passage of Ordinance 99, every qualified contractor can compete for, and be awarded work, without any requirement that the workers must belong to a union.

Jack Zimmer, ABC Keystone President & CEO, proclaimed "Lancaster County has a long tradition of hard working people who value fairness and the merit shop philosophy. I applaud the forward-thinking and actions of Commissioners Martin and Stuckey who saw fit to ensure that any worker, union or non- union, could work on Lancaster County tax-funded work." Zimmer went on to say that this was an historic vote. "This is the first time PLAs have been banned on the county level in Pennsylvania. This sends a strong statement that Lancaster County is open for business for all, and the needs of taxpayers regarding fiscal responsibility are respected. I sincerely hope other counties will follow suit. No matter what argument you put forth, it still comes down to fairness versus discrimination. Commissioners Martin and Stuckey made sure that message was loud and clear."

ABC Keystone, operating out of Rapho Business Park, Manheim, represents over 700 construction-related firms locally and is part of a national association with 75 chapters representing more than 23,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms nationwide. ABC Keystone members are involved in commercial, industrial, and institutional free enterprise construction throughout south central Pennsylvania.

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