PLAs are Good for Us

Here in Santa Rosa, in an era when small cities often have none, I’m pleased we have a decent local newspaper, the Press Democrat. I usually agree with their editorials, and when I don’t I write a letter to the editor. Here’s my latest.

Dear Editor,

You came out on the wrong side of project labor agreements in your October 12 editorial. Yes, our tax money is being used to build community structures we all will enjoy.  But it seems to me you are promoting union busting and lower wages for the construction workers who build our public spaces. A PLA is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project.

One difference between union and nonunion construction is training. My career as a union construction worker has allowed me to live a middle class life. In my union, apprentices must graduate from a five-year apprenticeship program to work as journey-level workers. 

How do nonunion construction workers learn their trades? You may not know that (free) union apprenticeship programs–certified by the state and run by both unions and industry–teach workers necessary skills. 

Building trades are skilled trades. When contractors employ unskilled workers to do skilled work they take the chance of mistakes that could cost lives down the line.

Let’s not scapegoat workers in the race for bigger contractor profits.

Molly Martin

Author: Molly Martin

I'm a long-time tradeswoman activist, retired electrician and electrical inspector. I live in Santa Rosa, CA. molly-martin.com. I also share a travel blog with my wife Holly: travelswithmoho.wordpress.com.

4 thoughts on “PLAs are Good for Us”

  1. Well said, Molly.

    Unions are being busted and/or infiltrated everywhere. I no longer can stomach the newsletters from my teacher’s union. They have totally knuckled under to big politics while their working conditions, funding, etc. have gone south. Unions need to stand up for their people again, but it’s hard in the face of the kind of disrespect you address here.

    BTW, do you know the issues with the Engineers at Kaiser? I see their booth on the corner of Bicentennial and Mendocino but it’s an awkward place to stop to talk with them.

    Happy Spring!

    Marsha

    On Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 6:52 PM tradeswomn musings wrote:

    > Molly Martin posted: ” Here in Santa Rosa, in an era when small cities > often have none, I’m pleased we have a decent local newspaper, the Press > Democrat. I usually agree with their editorials, and when I don’t I write a > letter to the editor. Here’s my latest. Dear E” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I drive by the strikers on Mendocino too. The issues the stationary engineers local 39 are striking over are wages and staffing, but the strike is regional and the beef is not with the Santa Rosa Kaiser as I understand it. But I have gotten all my news from the Press Democrat. Smiley face here.

      Like

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