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Philadelphia, Trade Unions Reach Agreement On Hiring Goals

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Surrounded by members of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter today signed at executive order that will once again make project labor agreements ("PLAs") a part of the bidding process for public works projects of $5 million or more.

Both city and organized labor officials believe this is a win-win for everyone.

Mayor Nutter says PLAs are a contract between the city and the trades that establishes benchmarks for the hiring of city residents and minorities.

"This new PLA policy will aim to ensure stability, equality, and diversity," the mayor said.  "The workers will have all the details so they know what is required of them, and the city will know that there will be no strikes.  Our work will be done on time and on budget by some of the most skilled tradespeople in the United States, right here in Philadelphia."

Pat Eiding, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the AFL-CIO, says the concept is important.

"In years past they would put people on the job just to satisfy numbers.  This is not about numbers.  If people can get into the trades they have a career for the rest of their life and they have a place to work, because the City of Philadelphia feels that the organized labors are the best qualified to do the work."

An independent third party, as yet to be determined, will monitor the diversity and residency goals.

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060

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