How Could this Not Increase Costs?

The Tribune Review writes today about a project labor agreement (PLA) that Allegheny County Chief Executive (and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate) Dan Onorato is taking some flak for. Amazingly, a county spokesman is denying that PLAs cost taxpayers more, or benefit unions:

“This is clearly a political advertisement by a special-interest group,” said county spokeswoman Megan Dardanell. “Everyone – union and nonunion – are able to bid.” …

Dardanell disagreed that labor agreements increase costs. Instead, they prohibit workers from going on strike and guarantee they’re paid healthy, state-mandated wages, said the county spokeswoman. In exchange, unions get a guarantee that their workers will receive jobs.

CCAC’s agreement guarantees that 90 percent of workers building the planned K. Leroy Iris Science Center would be union members – a level that Onorato last week said was “probably wrong.” The college halted bidding on the project and said it would review the matter after the trade group sued.

So just to clear things up, everyone is “able to bid,” but the PLA requires that 90% of workers belong to unions. And, according to the county spokeswoman, PLAs don’t increase costs to taxpayers, despite all the economic evidence to the contrary, and in spite of their admission that the PLA requires “state-mandated wages”, higher than what would be paid in other construction projects.

If that makes sense to you, you might be a government spokesman.