ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque city council reversed a law passed in December, aimed at making sure companies working for the city, pay their workers fair wages. Despite pleas from local labor unions to keep the Project Labor Agreement Ordinance in place, city councilors voted during Monday night’s meeting to reverse the law.
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The ordinance passed in December, by then-city council members, would require contractors, to have a labor agreement if they’re working on a city project worth more than $10-Million. The agreement would have covered wages, and benefits, among other things. Local union members say maintaining this ordinance, would have protected workers and made sure their efforts are compensated correctly.
Not everyone supported the ordinance though, some contractors spoke in favor of the repeal, saying the PLA would jeopardize the quality of work and impact schedules. The city council ultimately voted five to four in favor of nixing the law, only four months after passing it.
Three of the five councilors who voted to get rid of it are new to the council, including Councilor Louie Sanchez. “I know the competition is good,” said Sanchez. “I really feel everybody has to have a piece of the pie,” he said.
The Mayor responded to the council’s decision in a tweet, calling it “another backward-looking proposal from the council.” If a city project is funded with federal dollars, contractors will still be required to enter into a labor agreement, under federal law.