Louisiana Pre-empts Labor Agreements


“…Looking to the 2012 elections, top operatives with organized labor say they are going to concentrate their efforts at the state level and will withhold their support for federal candidates. In the 2008 election cycle, unions spent almost $80 million on independent broadcast advertising, mail, and advocacy to either elect or defeat candidates for federal office, according to OpenSecrets.org. Federal records also show that labor union political action committees (PACs) contributed over $66 million to federal candidates in 2008, with 92 percent of this total going to Democrats.

But, this investment did not secure enough votes to pass the “card check” legislation and other policy measures weighted against the business community. So, a change in strategy is in order. Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Firefighters, told FOX News, his organization is eyeing the political terrain at the local level. But there is no reason for states, especially Right to Work states, to play defense.

Instead, they should follow the example set by Danny Martiny, a Republican state senator in Louisiana, who has introduced a bill to safeguard competitive bidding practices in the construction industry. In a pre-emptive move aimed against contracts negotiated between employers and unions before workers are hired, Martiny has introduced Senate Bill 76. This legislation prevents state government officials from mandating Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on publicly funded construction projects.

PLAs call for construction contractors, including those non-unionized, to require their employees to be represented by a union on government-funded construction projects. In practice, they lock out non-union construction shops from the bidding process, officials with the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a private industry group, have argued.

Although the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 generally prohibits pre-hire agreements, an exception in the law was created for the construction industry.

All contractors, even if they are not unionized, must agree to have unions as the exclusive bargaining representative for the workers during the duration of any construction project operating under a PLA.
Read more here: Louisiana preempts union


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