A plan to bar project labor agreements on any project using public money in Missouri has run into opposition from labor-affiliated state senators.
Project labor agreements are agreements between government entities and successful bidders that set forth condition of employment, including wages, and strike and lockout prohibitions for the length of the project. Union as well as non-union contractors are allowed to bid for that work.
The law now applies only to state-funded projects. But Senator Brian Munzlinger’s bill would prohibit PLAs at the local level, too—-which upsets Spanish Lake Senator Tim Green.
Munzlinger, from Williamstown, claims the present law allows discrimination in the bidding process. Green says discrimination is expressly outlawed in the present law.
Green says there have been only two PLAs used in Missouri since the law was passed in 2007. He wonders why the concept of “local control,” which is so often emphasized by lawmakers, does not apply with Munzlinger’s bill.
The bill also allows “any persons submitting a bid or who would have submitted a bid” to file lawsuits challenging the awarding of the bid. That wording is a red flag to Independence Senator Victor Callahan.
Munzlinger says recent court rulings on project labor agreements at the local level show discrimination in bidding. Callahan says the court ruling he uses to justify his bill doesn’t justify it at all..
Munzlinger’s bill has been under debate for about two hours in the senate and has gone nowhere. He’ll have more time for debate later. Green and Callahan have sent clear signals they’ll try to block it.