Building Trades Rally for PLA for Courthouse Project

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council rallied outside the Tri-Main Building in Buffalo Friday. Inside, representatives from Erie County were meeting with the non-union shop, Merit Construction Alliance, and construction manager, Ciminelli Cowper, about the county courthouse renovation project.

Trades president Dan Boody says he believes they were also discussing the disadvantages of a Project Labor Agreement.

"We are totally against the county making any effort to try to put this project out to bid both ways (both to union and non-union contractors)," Boody said. "Our feeling is that the first phase of the PLA was successful."

Phase one was construction of a new Family Court building downtown. The trades union had a PLA with the county for the project. A PLA guarantees the union will not engage in any job action in return for a promise that all construction jobs will go to union workers.

Phase two of the courthouse project is a $40 million reconstruction of Old County Hall on Franklin Street where most courtrooms are now located.

The union says the County Executive has opened the bidding for phase two to union and non-union contractors.