Des Moines, Iowa (January 3, 2002) – Stefan Gleason, Vice President of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, joined Iowa Senate Majority Leader Stew Iverson at a press conference to voice their outrage at, and planned legal action against, the Polk County Board of Supervisors’ attempt to impose a project labor agreement (PLA) on the construction of the Iowa Events Center.
“The Polk County Board of Supervisors is launching an assault on Iowa’s precious Right to Work law, which gives employees the freedom to choose whether or not to affiliate with a union,” said Gleason. “Not only is this proposal discriminatory against the vast majority of Iowa’s workers, who have refrained from union membership, but such a scheme would also force taxpayers to pay the price through resulting delays and ballooning costs.”
PLAs are contracts on government-funded construction projects that are awarded exclusively to contractors who agree to accept union regulations and restrictions, whether they are unionized or not, as a prerequisite for bidding on a project. They usually require contractors to grant union officials monopoly bargaining privileges over all workers; use exclusive union hiring halls; and pay above-market prices resulting from wasteful work rules and featherbedding.
“Iowans are outraged that the Polk County Board of Supervisors is allowing union officials to use government contracts to harm workers who choose not to associate with unions,” said Gleason. “Work should be awarded on the basis of who can do the best job at a reasonable price, not on the basis of whether an employee unwillingly subjects himself to unionization.”
“If upheld, the Polk County PLA will line the pockets of Iowa’s union officials at the expense of taxpayers and individual rights.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.