Union leaders, contractors and real estate developers are trying to reach a new “project labor agreement” (PLA) to cut costs on private construction projects in New York City. But while Mayor Blomberg is reportedly anxious to participate in a news conference announcing the tentative deal, the city itself isn’t even trying to share in the savings on public construction projects.
Mr. Bloomberg routinely seeks endorsements, and often political contributions, from unions. So, even as he has asked city employees for concessions, the project labor agreement would not apply to city projects, which are often more likely to proceed during an economic downturn than private developments.
The deal has yet to be announced because of disagreement among the parties on whether the pending agreement would cut costs by 20 percent, as claimed by the union, or by a range of 5-12 percent, as suggested by a spokesman for private developers. Either way, the city’s failure to participate in the PLA will be very costly to taxpayers.