Friday, May 13, 2011

Los Angeles Port Labor Agreement With Construction Union Approved By City

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a five-year labor agreement that will cover more than $1.5 billion in planned Port of Los Angeles construction projects.

The agreement, which was approved by the port governing board in March, sets guidelines on the types of workers that must be hired by contractors for the various port projects.

The projects are expected to require a total of more than 6,000 workers through 2016. Under the terms of the agreement struck with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trade Council: 30 percent of the jobs must go to local port-area residents; 10 percent must go to "at-risk" workers, such as unemployed or workers with criminal records; and, at least 20 percent must go toward union apprentices.

The rest of the available positions will go to union workers.

Supporters have argued that such labor agreements assure quality union workers for projects while reducing work stoppages and strikes during construction.

Opponents of similar labor agreements have said they drive up costs and shut out small contractors who can not afford to provide labor from outside their own firms.