Sorensen Applauds Decision to Support Union Jobs in Illinois
MOLINE, IL – Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17), a member of the Congressional Labor Caucus, is applauding an executive order that requires project labor agreements (PLAs) to be used for federal construction projects, ensuring federal tax dollars support union jobs. This announcement comes after Sorensen urged the administration to implement the order late last year.
“Illinois tax dollars should support good-paying, union jobs across our region. By making sure federal construction projects benefit from project labor agreements, we are putting Illinois workers first,” said Sorensen. “I’m proud to stand alongside the men and women who built this country and the middle-class, and I look forward to being a trusted voice for our unions.”
“The Biden administration’s announcement requiring Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for large-scale federal construction projects is a huge win for Illinois working families,” said Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea. “PLAs are a time-tested tool to guarantee that highly trained workers are hired and their wages stay in our communities. PLA’s protect workers and our communities by ensuring safety standards are upheld and are an investment in our local workforce. We are grateful to work with Congressman Sorensen who tirelessly advocated for this policy on behalf of working Illinoisans.”
“PLAs are effective mechanisms for controlling construction costs, ensuring efficient completion of projects on time and within budget. PLAs establish fair wages and benefits for all workers on these projects. They also set a level playing field for all contractors bidding on the project. PLAs also help ensure worker health and safety programs. PLAs also promote hiring a local labor workforce. With the money that will be earned and spent there keeping the local economy thriving,” said Cory Bergfeld, President of the Tri City Building Trades Council.
“I applaud Congressman Eric Sorensen for his advocacy to require Project Labor Agreements for large-scale federal construction projects,” said Dan Gosa, President of the Quad City Federation of Labor. “This recent announcement is a huge win for Illinois workers, and will ensure we are supporting good, accessible jobs in our region for years to come.”
“Congressman Sorensen, like President Biden, is working every day to put working families of our area first. And they’re getting results, bringing more good union jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits to Rockford and the region,” said Sara Dorner, President of the Rockford AFL-CIO.
“Project Labor Agreements are a great tool to protect taxpayer dollars because they ensure that projects are completed on time, on budget, and by highly skilled workers. I applaud Representative Sorensen and the Biden Administration for their work on this new rule requiring PLAs on large federal construction projects. American taxpayers can now feel more confident that their dollars are being used more effectively,” said Alan Golden, President of the Northwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council.
“As a construction worker in Illinois, I appreciate Eric Sorensen’s support of PLA’s. They produce well-paying jobs for local, qualified, skilled workers who will complete the project on time and under budget. PLA’s have an important role in simplifying and streamlining construction contracts,” said Chase Carlton, President of the West Central Illinois Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
“On behalf of the proud union construction professionals I have the honor to represent, we commend President Biden and his administration for requiring project labor agreements (PLAs) on large scale federally funded infrastructure projects. Also referred to as community workforce agreements and rightfully so, PLAs ensure skilled trades men and women get the opportunity to work on projects in the locality in which they live, spurring economic development and strengthening the local economy while protecting workers’ rights and utilizing taxpayer dollars in a fiscally responsible manner,” said Matt Bartolo, President of the Peoria Building Trades Council.
“Congressmen Sorensen’s push to require Project Labor Agreements for large-scale federal construction projects is a significant investment for Illinois working families,” said Mike Raikes, President of the McLean and Livingston County Building Trades Association. “PLA’s provide crucial protections for workers like safety standards, requirements to hire minorities and women, and a commitment to using a local workforce. Congressmen Sorensen’s support for federal Project Labor Agreements guarantees that we can offer good, accessible jobs while building a new generation of skilled labor here in Mclean-Livingston counties.”
The Biden Administration recently announced that federal agencies would be required to use PLAs for large-scale federal construction projects. PLAs are collective bargaining agreements between unions and contractors. By governing the terms of agreement surrounding projects, PLAs ensure that workers receive fair wages, adequate benefits, and safer workplace conditions. PLAs also protect taxpayers by eliminating costly delays due to labor conflicts or shortages of skilled workers.
Since entering Congress last year, Sorensen has been an advocate for the American worker by:
- Helping introduce the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to push back against anti-worker laws and protect workers’ right to organize, and speaking on the House floor urging for its passage.
- Standing with Northern Illinois UAW workers at the Belvidere Assembly Plant outside Rockford to show support as they negotiated with the big automotive companies.
- Cosponsoring the No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act, which would deny employers a tax deduction for expenses incurred while attempting to influence employees’ labor organization activities.
- Helping introduce the Striking and Locked Out Workers Healthcare Protection Act to prohibit an employer from terminating an employee’s health insurance coverage during a lockout.