The Local Union Building Trades represent more than 6,000 women and men in the trades. We fight every day for livable wages and benefits for our members that you simply cannot find in the non-union construction industry. Project-labor agreements, or PLAs, were created to keep local skilled workers on local construction jobs. They create a level playing field for both union and non-union contractors. PLAs lift even non-union workers up by requiring pay at the area standard wages and benefits.

On June 2, the Cloquet City Council did the right thing by reinstating the PLA in the city of Cloquet. I appreciate that councilors reevaluated and understand what union laborers bring to our city of Cloquet. I am a resident of Cloquet and pay my real estate taxes, shop, and dine all in the city. I am a proud 14-year member of the Laborers International Union of North America. Joining was the best decision I ever made in my working career.

The local unions also volunteer our time to events throughout the year, donate to great causes, and take care of our community. We love to live, play, and work in what we call home.

PLAs have been and will be the best bang for a community’s buck by helping to keep public projects on time and on budget.

Derek Pederson

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The writer is a business agent for Laborers Local 1091.

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