Senators Colbeck and Moolenaar asked and were granted unanimous consent to make statements and moved that
the statements be printed in the Journal.
The motion prevailed.
Senator Colbeck's statement is as follows:
I was honored to sit on the Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee where my collegue from the 36th
District presented this bill to us, and we had a lot of discussion during the course of the hearings. One thing I would
like to point out is I am surprised to hear the term "project labor agreement" used a lot. If you search this bill there is
not one instance of that term posted in this bill. That is not just to be cute, like is sometimes done, but it is because
this does not impair project labor agreements.
In the heart of this bill, in Section 5, it merely prohibits bid propsals that are going out that prohibit unions from
bidding in it. It also precludes prohibiting the exclusion of private enterprise and companies from bidding. This is
truly about fairness in competition. Currently, 85 percent of perspective bidders on government contracts are
excluded from bidding on those contracts. What kind of impact do you think that has on the bid price for some of
One of the questions posed by my colleagues was who are we carrying the water for? I will tell you who we are
carrying the water for on this one: for Michigan taxpayers and those of us who still hold to the ideals of free market
competition. We need to stop interferring with this free market, and we need to stop picking winners and losers in
the assignment and appropriation of taxpayer funds.
I strongly urge the support of this bill.
Senator Moolenaar's statement is as follows:
I want to address some of the concerns that were raised. During this process in committee, we added two
amendments--one that affirms that this act does not affect the prevailing wage act, and second, that this act does not
prohibit parties from entering into agreements or engaging in activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act.
The National Labor Relations Act is what allows parties to enter into project labor agreements. So what we are doing today is not eliminating those agreements. Project labor agreements will still exist. They
just won't be able to discriminate anymore. So I would urge my colleagues to vote "yes."
Senator Gregory's statement is as follows:
I also rise in opposition to Senate Bill No. 165, which is eliminating project labor agreements under the guise of
fair employment practices. This bill is the opposite of fair, and it continues the Senate majority's unwarranted,
relentless, and ongoing attack on organized labor. As my colleague spoke about a lot of the project agreements, I
would like to go through some of the important roles that they have played.
Project labor agreements play an important role in enabling our local units of government to create safe and
secure worksites and a reliable and productive workforce, union and nonunion alike. They significantly increase the te of employment among urban residents and minority workers on both publiclly- and privately- financed
construction, alteration, repair, and improvement projects in Michigan.
Many labor associations and organization, as well as private construction companies, have all attested to and
testified on the importance of project labor agreements. They improve workplace safety, promote community and
public goodwill, lower costs, maintain timeliness, and ensure high-quality projects. Project labor agreements help
standardize safety requirements, safety orientations, and communication of expectations to all parties. Standardized
work rules cover all workers.
PLAs facilitate promoting and meeting worker residency and diversity requirements and help deter the hiring of
undocumented workers or subcontractors who skirt paying taxes. Hiring requirements under PLAs improve
employments opportunities for Michigan residents, indirectly support Michigan businesses, and ensure proper wages
and benefits are offered.
PLAs stabilize and define wages for the project duration, require proper payment of overtime, and abide by state
and federal laws. They can help prevent work stoppages through strikes and lockouts, and provide scheduling
acceleration tools that reduce shift-work premiums, reduce overtime hours, and make-up days.
But, you know, after saying all this, the thing that bothers me the most about eliminating the PLAs, as my
colleague said, is this will eliminate the local municipalities from being able to implement them. I represent 14
communities, and in those communities, some have them and some don't. The communities that do have them have
been presented to the council and the council has vetted these PLAs out and decided to accept them and have done a
good job with them; so much so that they have saved money. Now for the this Legislature acting as if they are the
great and all-knowing Oz, saying that we know better than you, you cannot perform to your best, and we must tell
you what to do, and this body wants to eliminate PLAs. I have a community that has it and it works well. Now for
me to come to Lansing and have my colleagues say, well, your community really doesn't know what to do, we are
going to tell them what to do, I think, is totally disheartening. We have colleagues who want to take power away
from the very units of government that serve the people we represent and say they don't know what they are doing.
So I am asking my colleagues to reconsider this--to table it, pull it off the table, reconsider, go over it, but do
justice for the communities. For those communities that have it, don't just wipe it out for them saying we can do a
better job. Those communities that don't want it don't have it. But the ones that do, please reconsider the
ramifications of this to the local communities.