Last night the Long Beach City Council passed a comprehensive Project Labor Agreement (PLA) after months of negotiations with a unanimous vote of 7-0. There was a long discussion about several different components of the negotiated PLA but ultimately Council prevailed and the PLA passed.
“Long Beach was able to craft a PLA that was tailored for our City.” said Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez. We successfully negotiated for a goal of a 40 percent local hiring provision which is 10 percent more than the standard PLA and most importantly this PLA includes a local hire component and job training initiatives in collaboration with Long Beach City College.”
Many members of the Long Beach community spoke out last night. Gregory Sanders, President of the Long Beach Ministers Alliance and Pastor of The ROCK Christian Fellowship said, “The Ministers Alliance is excited about the progress achieved by the Long Beach City Council in regards to the Project Labor Agreement. We have been especially encouraged by the commitment of Councilmembers Lena Gonzalez and Rex Richardson to enhance the quality of life of the residents of Long Beach by including a Local Hire Policy. These are not just jobs these are careers. This team effort has helped forge a hope centered narrative between clergy, City Council and our community. “
Representing the building trades was Ron Miller, Executive Secretary with the Los Angeles and Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council spoke during public comment and said, “The biggest asset of any city is its human resource: its people. The PLA brings immense opportunities to the residents of Long Beach.” He continued, “The Building Trades teach people a lifelong trade. They take someone who might not be going to college and give them a skill set that is vital to the California economy.”
Finally, during public comment several women who are members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) spoke about their experiences working in the trades. Hannah Cooper an electrician with IBEW Local 11 commented, “I’ve been an electrician for seven years. It’s such a great career. This PLA will help steer women towards a career that affords them the opportunity to work for equal wages and benefits as their male counterparts. Cooper shared that her mother was the first female electrician to be a member of IBEW Local 11.
Prominent federal representatives of the community spoke on behalf of the PLA last night including Congressman Alan Lowenthal and Congresswoman Janice Hahn.