The September 30 issue of the Philadelphia Daily News printed a great editorial by John Macklin, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors and VP of the association’s northeast region. The op-ed piece, titled “Bias at the Big House,” discussed the unfair practices of union-only PLAs (project labor agreement). Here is a piece from it:
“In this time of recession and high unemployment, it’s particularly disturbing that the vast majority of the state’s qualified construction workers – a full 80 percent of them – aren’t eligible to work on this (Graterford Prison) project funded by their tax dollars.
“To add insult to injury, this restricted competition has historically meant higher bids and artificially inflated construction costs that add on average of 10 to 20 percent to the cost of completing the project.
“Why would a state limit participation to a select 20 percent of the workforce when there are thousands of qualified workers in need of jobs?”