Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, October 19, 2019
PLA measure is pilau
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 3:53 PM :: 729 Views :: Honolulu County, Labor, Small Business

PLA measure is pilau

From Grassroot Institute, October 18, 2019

What happens when a government tries to fix a system that isn’t broken? 

Usually, the taxpayers pay the price.

That is what might happen if Honolulu's mayor approves a measure that would restrict the use of nonunion labor on city contracts worth over $2 million.

As Jonathan Young, Hawaii chapter president of Associated Builders and Contractors, has pointed out, there are about 6,700 licensed contractors in Hawaii, 66 percent of whom are nonunion, which means about 4,500 local contractors would be blocked from bidding on such city projects. 

Young was the guest this week on the latest episode of “Hawaii Together,” the interview show on ThinkTech Hawaii usually hosted by me but this time featuring Joe Kent, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii executive vice president. 

Young told Joe he is concerned that the Honolulu City Council’s approval of Bill 37 is likely to hurt local contractors — the smaller ones in particular — by requiring for the specified city projects so-called project labor agreements, which are crafted to favor union contractors and workers.

In testimony before the City Council, supporters of the measure repeatedly claimed it is intended to help local workers. However, this is not a bill to protect Hawaii workers; there is already a state law that requires a certain proportion of local labor on government contracts. 

More important, said Young, is that Bill 37 conflicts with Hawaii state procurement law and addresses a problem that doesn’t exist. 

Since an executive order was issued in 2012 by then-Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii already “encourages” PLAs for government projects worth $25 million or more. Young said nonunion contractors have no issue with that figure because “99% of our contractors don’t do that. We know that we can’t. It’s not our forte.”

Setting the threshold at $2 million, however, would be a hardship for the small businesses and mom and pop contractors who work the smaller jobs, which in turn would help consolidate the power of the larger companies.

“People that do these projects will push their way down and mom and pops will get pushed out,” Young said.

At the same time, cutting out two-thirds of possible bidders means that the city would end up with fewer options and higher bids, which ultimately would have to be covered by the taxpayers. 

As Young explained, independent studies have confirmed that PLAs consistently raise the cost of government contracts by 12 percent or more. That’s why many states and municipalities are moving away from them as a matter of policy. 

Honolulu, however, is moving in the opposite direction. Young predicted that if the city adopts these PLA rules, they will have a negative effect on the economy, crushing competition and creating slower, costlier and less efficient government projects. 

According to Young, even some union members are opposed to the city’s bill. He explained that union companies don’t necessarily want to work on the smaller three-week projects, preferring instead the larger two- or three-year projects. He added: 

“We’ve even had union contractors who don’t want this bill because they’re going to be taking workers from the bench that are earmarked for other union projects to work on those projects”

In the end, the bill would create an unnecessary division between local contractors. It’s not about the value of unions or the quality of work. Rather, it’s about a bill that seeks to artificially limit bids on government contracts and drive up costs. 

Taxpayers should be asking why the City Council, in a 7-2 vote, decided to interfere with state procurement law and defy recent research on PLAs. 

As Young put it, “What was broken with the way the city was doing business? Nothing was broken.”

E hana kakou! (Let's work together!)  

Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.

President/CEO

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT