"Local" (unions) vs. local (CT Residents)

The Answer is in the Contract Language

Proponents of anti-competitive and costly PLAs sometimes claim that PLAs guarantee 100 percent of the workers on a jobsite will be "local." However, PLA projects often struggle to achieve 20 percent local workforce, let alone 100 percent.

Here are sample clauses from PLAs that show a lack of commitment to the stated promises:

The East Hartford Fire Station PLA (2010) only contained one weak and grammatically incorrect sentence regarding local hires on page 10, Section 6.10: "All signatory parties shall, to the maximum extent possible, utilize the East Hartford Residence (sic) to expand construction trades employment opportunities for qualified candidates within the local communities of the project’s location(s)." This was the only mention of hiring local workers.

The Western CT Academy PLA (2003) contains the following two sentences, on page 8, Section 9: "The Construction Administrator, Contractors and Unions agree that a first referral/hire preference shall be given to bona fide residence of the City of Danbury to the fullest extent possible and in accordance with state and local law. Nothing in the Section shall require the Union to refer, or the Contractor, Subcontractor or Construction Administrator to hire workers that such Contractor or Subcontractor reasonably believes are not qualified for available jobs and/or in conformance with Federal, state or local laws."

The current New Haven PLA (covering multiple projects) only addresses new hires and only sets the goal at 20 percent of those hired shall be New Haven residents. Page 11, section 10 says,"Local Hiring: The Contractors and the Unions agree that a first referral/hire shall be given to bona fide New Haven residents to the fullest extent possible. Such preference shall account for a minimum of 20percent of new hires in the event any Employer is increasing its workforce for the project."

The bottom line is that when unions promise that all workers on the job will be “local” - they mean local union member. All of the clauses above can be easily circumvented, lack consequences and have failed to produce the promised results.