Letter to the Editor: Protect Parsippany Taxpayers

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An Open Letter to the Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor and Council members:

My name is Samantha DeAlmeida and I am the President and CEO of the N.J. Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (“ABC”). ABC is a national association representing 21,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms in 69 Chapters across the United States. With over 1,200 ABC members in N.J., Merit Shop contractors in N.J. employ in excess of over 400,000 workers and are responsible for over $19 billion in New Jersey construction annually.

I am writing today to voice my organization’s strong opposition to the ordinance introduced this week mandating the use of project labor agreements (“PLA’s”) on all construction
projects over $5M in Parsippany. As you know, a PLA is a form of labor contract that requires all contractors participating on a project to employ only union-represented labor, despite the fact that 73% of the construction industry workforce in N.J. have never opted for union representation. Thus, the immediate impact of mandating the use of PLA’s on all projects over $5M is that the pool of contractors available to work on any such project is vastly smaller than if a project were done so-called open shop – that is, regardless of a contractor’s affiliation with a union.

Fewer options for Parsippany taxpayers in the choice of contractors is likely one of the
reasons that the N.J. Department of Labor in its most recent study found that the use of PLA’s on construction projects increased the cost of construction by a staggering 33%, and led to significant delays in the completion of projects. There is no contrary evidence we have seen to suggest that the results would be any different for your taxpayers, thus making the proposed ordinance a very bad value proposition for
Parsippany residents.

I invite you to educate yourselves about the realities of PLAs and welcome your questions. While you owe it to your residents to have quality contractors work on publicly-funded construction projects, enacting a mandatory PLA ordinance is not the answer. If enacted, the Ordinance will hurt merit shop contractors and their employees who live in Parsippany, raise their families, pay taxes, invest in the community, and possibly vote for you. In addition, all Parsippany taxpayers will pay the price through increased costs that have been well-documented, and which could ultimately drive taxes up.

I and ABC’s members look forward to being an active part of the process as this ordinance is considered in upcoming meetings.

Samantha DeAlmeida


Concerned Taxpayers: Please attend Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Meeting, October 18, 7 p.m. Parsippany Hills High School, 20 Rita Drive, to make your voice heard!