We've long argued that blocking 80+% of the construction workforce from bidding and working reduces jobsite diversity. It's a point the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey is making to that state's legislators who are debating a bill to expand use of project labor agreements, which require use of only union labor - a small portion of the total construction workforce.
“98% of Black and Hispanic construction companies are non-union shops. Thus, a Project Labor Agreement greatly limits the opportunities for Black and Hispanic firms,” said John Harmon, Sr., IOM, Founder, President & CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey. “The possibility of Black and Hispanic labor is greatly suppressed. It is beyond disappointing when we see diversity clauses added to legislation that is fundamentally harmful to minority communities” Harmon continued. “The diversity language within this bill is a guise of permissive language that has absolutely no benefit to the African American community within the state.”
It is also the experience of Skanska Building USA, which in a report to the City of Worcester, stated: · “Historically, the unions are not as able to guarantee a diverse workforce.”