For Immediate Release – January 24, 2013
Americans for Prosperity: Paying Off Unions No Way to Dispense Sandy Reconstruction Dollars
Pro-Taxpayer Group Lambastes Union Favoritism, Calls on Legislature to Reject PLA Bill
TRENTON, NJ – Americans for Prosperity, the state’s leading grassroots, free-market organization, is calling on the Legislature to reject a bill that would expand the reach of project labor agreements, or PLAs, and inflate the costs of Hurricane Sandy reconstruction projects in the state.
Representatives for the pro-taxpayer group delivered testimony before the Assembly Budget Committee on the bill (S2425/A3679), which would change current law to allow PLAs to apply to many Sandy-related projects, including rebuilding of “highways, bridges, pumping stations, and water and sewage treatment plants.”
“Project labor agreements discriminate against non-union merit shops, decrease competition, result in higher costs and delays in completing projects,” said Mike Proto, AFP’s communications director. “The New Jersey Department of Labor itself has verified the cost inefficiencies of PLAs, showing in a 2010 report that PLAs resulted in school construction projects to taking 22 weeks longer to complete and costing 30.5% more than non-PLA projects.”
“American taxpayers are subsidizing the Sandy reconstruction efforts and the State of New Jersey owes it to them to be good stewards of our share of the $60 billion in relief aid,” continued Proto. “Likewise, the Legislature should not be passing a bill that will mean added construction project costs that will weigh on future budgets.”
“Moreover, American workers should not be shut out of the bidding process or forced to join a union in order to gain employment. Having their right to work infringed upon is immoral and unjust,” added Proto.
“The Hurricane Sandy crisis should not be politicized and used as an opportunity to pay off special interests. Taxpayers should be outraged by this kind of crony politics. Hurricane Sandy relief aid dollars ought not to be squandered in this fashion. Rather, reconstruction costs should be kept to a minimum.”
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens to support restraining state and federal government growth and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP is more than 2 million activists strong, with activists in all 50 states. AFP has 34 state chapters and affiliates. More than 85,000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial contribution to AFP or AFP Foundation. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org
Americans for Prosperity does not support or oppose candidates for public office.