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City Councilors Seek to Repeal the Use of Project Labor Agreements

O-22-8 has been introduced to rescind action taken by City Council last year.

February 7, 2022

Today, City Council Vice President Dan Lewis and Councilors Brook Bassan, Trudy Jones, and Renée Grout are introducing legislation to repeal Council bill O-21-80, which amended the City’s Public Purchases Ordinance to require the use of Project Labor Agreements on certain public works construction projects in the City of Albuquerque. The Councilors bill: O-22-8 would rescind that amendment and remove that requirement from the Public Purchases Ordinance.

“Albuquerque has a smaller percentage of construction union workforce.  By repealing this requirement, we’d be reducing unnecessary requirements to getting much needed public works projects done while ensuring we are doing everything possible to keep construction costs from rising unnecessarily,” said the City Councilors. “We want to ensure that Albuquerque continues improving infrastructure as quickly and efficiently as possible without eliminating our local, New Mexican businesses from opportunities.”

At the December 6, 2021, City Council Meeting, the previous Council adopted an amendment to the Public Purchases Ordinance, adopting the use of project labor agreements on certain public works construction projects that were anticipated to exceed $10 million. A project labor agreement is defined as a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific public works construction project.

In the City of Albuquerque, only 14% of the construction workforce are union employees. Compared to other cities that have project labor agreements, Albuquerque has a much smaller percentage of union workforce meaning this requirement would severely limit job creation.

O-22-8 will be formally introduced at the February 7, 2022, City Council Meeting and will be referred to the Finance and Government Operations Committee.