Nonunion contractors may sue Westmoreland County
Rich Cholodofsky | TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, February 3, 2011
A group that represents nearly 200 nonunion contractors in the region may file a lawsuit seeking to reverse a Westmoreland County resolution they contend favors unionized laborers for government work.
Eileen Watt, president of the Association of Builders and Contractors of Western Pennsylvania, said Wednesday that a labor stabilization agreement signed in 2009 by county commissioners is exclusionary and prohibits nonunion firms from bidding on construction projects.
“It’s an unfair practice, and it gives special interests the only right to bid on these projects and leaves everyone else out,” Watt said.
She said the labor agreement requires nonunion shops that bid on certain construction projects to register personal information of nonunion workers with local trade councils. That would make it nearly impossible for the nonunion firms to bid on government work, according to Watt.
“We’re considering legal action,” she said.
Watt suggested that a lawsuit could seek to invalidate the local resolution or ask the courts to order that the labor requirement be excluded from a project to build a new magistrate office in Export.
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