The SVO Opposes PLAs, Supports Mayor Sam Liccardo's Memo Regarding CWA/PLA Recommendations

On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), we are writing in support of Mayor Liccardo’s memo under item 3.3 on the October 24, 2017 San Jose City Council agenda, CWA/PLA Task Force Committee Recommendations. 

Throughout 2017, The SVO was a participant on the CWA/PLA Task Force, and has historically been a consistent voice against the mandate of project labor agreements for public CIP awards in San Jose. We retain this position, and do not support the mandating of PLA’s for any private or public funded development project, as it unnecessarily inflates project costs to consumers and taxpayers. We agree with the findings in both city staff and the Mayor’s memo, which shows the potential for increased costs as high as 15% when project labor agreements are required. As such, we view these increased costs as an extremely poor use of critical taxpayer dollars that could be better spent on providing vital public safety and infrastructure needs. 

We recognize the memo put forward by Mayor Liccardo as a best faith-effort to minimize the negative effects of mandated project labor agreements and the increased costs on San Jose’s businesses and taxpayers. We support the Mayor’s efforts to maintain a $10 million threshold on PLA requirements for CIP projects in San Jose. Over the past five years, only 2% of CIP’s have been north of that threshold, and as such, this memo limits the City’s exposure to the increased financial and regulatory burdens of PLA’s. 

Additionally, we support the small business protections contained in the Mayor’s memorandum, and also the best efforts at draft PLA language that will further insulate the City and its taxpayers from these proposed burdens. 

The SVO remains a tireless advocate against the mandating of PLA’s for public and private projects in San Jose. However, under the circumstances, we are willing to accept a best effort at avoiding the most burdensome portions of such a mandate, and as such, would respectfully ask for your vote in favor of Mayor Liccardo’s memorandum.