History made. The MTA board approves project labor agreement.

Workers in Los Angeles County witnessed a historic victory, when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board voted in favor of negotiating an agency-wide Project Labor Agreement (PLA) and Construction Careers Policy (CCP). Both initiatives, authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, ensure targeted hiring for thousands of construction jobs. The Metro targeted hiring provision of the agreement and the Construction Careers Policy initiatives require that at least 30% of total construction hours are from residents who live in zip codes where unemployment is high. Also, 10% of Metro jobs will be set aside for disadvantaged workers, such as those who are homeless, are high school drop-outs or who have criminal records.

“Approval of the Construction Careers Policy and Project Labor Agreement, by the Metro Board means employment for thousands of skilled residents who hunt each day to find work at a time when Los Angeles County is facing an unemployment epidemic,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. He added: “Today, the Metro Board invested in economic transit projects while securing jobs and promoting careers.” Passage of both the Metro PLA and CCP, is expected to reduce unemployment and ensure the avoidance of labor disputes.

When asked what a Metro Project Labor Agreement means, 26-year-old, Alton Wilkerson, electrician and Los Angeles resident said,

“It means a lot to me because about 85 to 95% of the jobs I’ve worked on have been project labor agreements,” He went on to say, “ PLAs offer financial stability for my family and have made a big impact on my career. Passage of the agency wide Metro Project Labor Agreement would help my community to get good paying jobs and financial stability.”

This is the third Project Labor Agreement and Construction Careers Policy initiative successfully executed under Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ tenure. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ first being Phase 2 of the Expo Light Rail, followed by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center (MLK-MACC).