Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Commissioners again defer project labor agreement vote

I've previously written about the push to institute Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for all Lucas County contracts - and the fact that the commissioners deferred a vote on the measure until today.

Today, they deferred the resolution until Dec. 15.

Interestingly, The Blade's coverage of the commissioner meeting focuses solely on the appointment of a Skeldon family associate to the dog warden advisory committee.

Now I know they're really interested in getting Dog Warden Tom Skeldon out of office - they have been for years. But in terms of impact to the community, which would you say is more newsworthy: 1) appointing someone who worked on a relative's campaign to an ad hoc committee, or 2) a plan to require that all contractors (even non-union companies) doing business with Lucas County enter into a labor agreement for the duration of the county project?

Obviously, option #2 has a significant financial impact on the county and the taxpayer - as well as sending a strong negative message about doing business in our area.

But of course, the paper hasn't even mentioned this agenda item. They're too busy trying to bury the dog warden who's done nothing but follow the rules, laws and policies put into place by the politicians The Blade routinely supports.

Pay attention, Lucas County! You need to call or email your commissioners to make sure PLAs are never instituted in our county:

Pete Gerken: pgerken@co.lucas.oh.us
Tina Skeldon Wozniak: twozniak@co.lucas.oh.us
Ben Konop: bkonop@co.lucas.oh.us
Phone number: 419-213-4500

For more information about the negative impacts of PLAs, be sure to check out The Truth About PLAs website.

5 comments:

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

Could it be that "Young Ben" is a vote shy and is putting off the inevitable as long as possible?

Seems to me that spreading one's failures out a bit might make him appear to be a little less inexperienced/foolish...

Maggie Thurber said...

Or they're waiting until no one is paying any attention....hoping that less people will care as they get closer to the holidays.

I've not seen anyone else report on this, but I know the chambers are really irate about it.

Mad Jack said...

Now I know they're really interested in getting Dog Warden Tom Skeldon out of office - they have been for years.

Okay, I'll bite. Who is the they you refer to here? If they have been at it for years, why hasn't the general news reading public heard more about it over the last five years?

From Maggie Thurber: But of course, the paper hasn't even mentioned this agenda item. They're too busy trying to bury the dog warden who's done nothing but follow the rules, laws and policies put into place by the politicians The Blade routinely supports.

Oh, I see. So, since the Tonton Macoutes were only following Baby Doc's orders, they are completely innocent of any wrong doing. Likewise, Germany's Geheime Staatspolizei, the Soviet Union's KGB and the Khmer Rouge were only following orders.

Stable dressing, Maggie. Tom Skeldon is no good and should have been removed years ago. As usual, Lucas county follows the standard operating procedure of too little, too late.

From The Truth About PLAs website: Construction contracts subject to union-only PLAs are almost always awarded exclusively to unionized contractors and their all-union workforces.

Note 'almost always'. So when are the contracts not awarded to unionized labor?

I note that the real problem is not being addressed at all, not even by Maggie Thurber. The real problem here is that people employed by Lucas county belong to a labor union and so enjoy inflated wages, sinful benefits and job security that continues to bear more weight than the roads they repair. That union provides the members with extra money and political clout to inflict their values and debts on the wage earning taxpayers of Lucas county.

Unemployment is high and benefits are running out. There are workers in Lucas county who would gladly do those jobs for less money, but somehow Lucas county isn't allowed to employ them - because of the union. To tell someone that they can't compete for a job because it's against some arbitrary rule does not build a healthy economy. To have to say that to a person who can't tell you how they are going to pay the rent or the mortgage next month is just plain wrong.

Maggie Thurber said...

Mad Jack - I believe you've put comments to two separate posts into one on this page.

The 'they' refers to the paper. You and I can disagree on Skeldon's performance, but the rules are what many people are upset about. If you don't like the rules, change them - or the politicians who make them. Don't blame employees when they follow the rules. However, instead of looking at the rules (the laws of Toledo and Ohio) they'd rather take out their anger on a person.

If you don't like Skeldon - that's fine.

As for the PLAs, and your claim that I'm not addressing the 'real' problem, I've written plenty about government unions. Just because I don't mention it in this post doesn't mean I've not expressed opinions about them.

As a matter of record, I don't think government unions should have benefits and wages better/higher than the public that pays for them.

Mad Jack said...

From Maggie Thurber: I've written plenty about government unions.

I know. This was poorly written on my part as I was criticizing the Lucas County government and The Blade for not addressing the real problem, as I see it.

Labor unions are a very sore point with me for personal reasons. When I was a teenager I went out looking for work and found a construction site. I talked to one of the workers for a minute or so and learned how much they made - what a shock! I'd work twice as hard for half that and call myself the luckiest boy in town.

Fat chance.

'This is a union job.' the foreman explained. 'Are you a member of the union?'

I wasn't, but I was willing to join if that's what it took to get the job. Naturally, the foreman saw a little humor in this, especially since I continued to argue and told him that if he didn't think I did a good enough job he didn't have to pay me.

The foreman explained that I couldn't join the union because they weren't hiring. I finally gave up, still not understanding. Nor could my parents explain to me why a company couldn't hire non-union labor. I was willing to work! Why couldn't I get a job?

Pretty stupid, huh?

On the other hand I have the case of Main Lady who discovered that the State of Ohio was paying the women less than the men for doing the same job. She organized the workers and helped them join a union, then got voted out of her position as union representative in a fixed election. They slashed her tires for good measure. Still, she and the other women got raises and back pay.

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