A new analysis of Long Beach city government’s project labor agreement (PLA) — including the degree to which the policy has promoted local hiring — is expected to be produced within a matter of weeks, the Press-Telegram reports.
Long Beach’s project labor agreement gives contractors using union labor a big advantage in securing major city construction projects in exchange for labor peace. City spokeswoman Kerry Gerot says the report is in progress and may be completed within days.
The update will follow a labor advocates’ press conference in late June demanding the city do more to ensure Long Beachers living in the city’s most challenged areas have more opportunities to be hired as a result of the deal.
“Our coalition’s mission is to make sure that the PLA makes living wage construction jobs a reality for all Long Beach residents, not just ones in one ZIP code or another, but including and especially including disadvantaged residents of our community,” Community Action Partnership executive director Darick Simpson said during the June 28 media event.
Long Beach city council approved five-year PLA in April 2015.
The newspaper reported that the activist coalition, which includes Building Healthy Communities Long Beach, Long Beach Community Action Partnership and PV Jobs, has three key requests:
- Keeping tabs on how many disadvantaged workers and veterans get jobs on projects subject to Long Beach’s PLA, as well as those people’s ZIP codes and income levels. Under current federal guidelines, a disadvantaged worker in Los Angeles or Orange Counties can be understood as someone from a family of four with a household income below about $30,000 per year;
- Hiring an independent third-party jobs coordinator to help locals get construction jobs; and
- Adopting a new local hiring policy with input from organizations such as those which are already among the activists’ group, which calls itself the Long Beach Local Hire Coalition.
The current PLA requires 40 percent of work hours performed by people hired under the deal’s terms to live in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
The activist coalition cited January and February reports from Parsons Constructors, Inc. to produce their own finding that Long Beach residents performed 17 percent of the nearly 75,500 work hours associated with PLA-covered projects. Parsons administers the PLA.
However, the city’s government published data on June 28, after activists made their statements, showing people living in Long Beach and neighboring cities performed 41 percent of the 168,000 work hours tracked up until that time. Los Angeles and Orange county workers were responsible for 78 percent of those hours.
The city also reported that disadvantaged or veteran workers were hired for 14 percent of work hours.