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I find the Buffalo School Board's support of project labor agreements outrageous, and commend County Executive Joel Giambra for supporting the free-enterprise system. These projects should be open to all qualified contractors for competitive bidding without union strings attached.

Yes, it is true that open-shop contractors can bid on a PLA, but their employees must pay into the union organization for benefits they will never receive, and open-shop contractors must use a mixed blend of employees who don't work for the contractor but work for the union, possibly jeopardizing the contractor's proficiency.

Mayor Anthony Masiello said he doesn't want out-of-state plates in town. He should check where our trade dollars went when the Buffalo Niagara International Airport was built under a PLA.

Dan Boody, president of the Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council, says open shops cheat their workers. However, prevailing-wage laws protect workers via certified payroll and wage reviews by labor representatives.

This area is 75 percent open shop and 25 percent union. All are taxpayers, and all should be allowed to bid competitively. Nonunion contractors do not need a PLA to solve disputes or strikes. Many of the area's open-shop contractors offer their employees medical benefits, job training, retirement and incentive packages and job security. Let's support competition and free enterprise. Give the taxpayers the best job for their money.


Orchard Park

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