Project labor pacts
face unfair criticism
Why would House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey take such a hostile view of labor unions (“Critics worry new union restrictions could hamper Falcons stadium project,” ajc.com, March 4)?
In fact, project labor agreements (PLAs) are increasingly being utilized in the private sector by profit-oriented corporations such as Georgia Power, Wal-Mart, Toyota, Gillette, Reebok, Disney and many others. Isn’t one of the core principles of the Republican Party a desire to see government operate like the private sector?
Republican and Democrat governors, as well as strong bipartisan groups of U.S. congressional members, have endorsed the use of PLAs because they recognize their value. Majority Whip Lindsey’s comments notwithstanding, union and non-union contractors are free to bid on PLA projects as they see fit.
Smart construction management demands the flexibility to utilize all available tools. Prohibiting our state from utilizing PLAs would stand in stark contrast to the private sector, where the utilization of PLAs is strong and growing — ensuring value for public investments.
KEITH THOMAS, BUSINESS MANAGER, ATLANTA AND NORTH GEORGIA BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL
Why ordinary folks
face premium jumps
That the steep health insurance price hikes the AJC has reported on will hit individual buyers and small shopkeepers hardest attests to the power of collective bargaining.
Neither John and Jane Q. Citizen nor small business owners have the clout large organizations use to negotiate reasonable premiums, leaving them no alternative but to pay whatever the insurance commissioners allow the insurance company executives who wine and dine them to charge. Until individual buyers and small shopkeepers organize in support of their own best interests, they will remain sorely disadvantaged.
ESTHER ZELLS, SANDY SPRINGS
We should elect those
who’d resist gratuities
Why is there an issue regarding bribery in our political system? Why do we need to legislate against it?
If the voters were wise enough to vote for people properly representing their interests, the lobbying problem would not exist.
A lobbyist is paid to represent his principal. If his case is so weak that it must be supported with gratuities, we need to look at the people he is addressing: those we vote for who accept those gratuities.
If our elected representatives properly refused the incentives, there would be no issue.
DAVID PITTS, CUMMING
Consumer writer goes
beyond his expertise
Regarding “Grappling with costs of worker benefits” (Deal Spotter, March 14), if Clark Howard is going to comment on politics and public policy, as he did in this column, he should be put on the editorial page. Otherwise, he must stick to consumer affairs and bargain hunting.
MICHAEL FEDACK, ATLANTA