Chicago Transit Board Approves Historic Agreement with Labor Leaders to Provide Disadvantage Workers with New Opportunities

September 11, 2013

Agreement also promotes employment for U.S. military veterans; Program is modeled after successful Red Line South workforce diversity effort

The Chicago Transit Board today approved an agreement with labor leaders that provides expanded job opportunities for economically disadvantaged workers in the Chicago area.

The project labor agreement (PLA) with the Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council will require contractors working on most CTA construction projects to provide employment opportunities to disadvantaged workers as established by the Federal Workforce Investment Act.

The agreement was modeled after CTA’s successful efforts to promote job opportunities related to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) on the Red Line South Reconstruction project, a $425 million effort to completely rebuild the 10-mile stretch of the railroad on Chicago’s South Side. On that project, about 15 percent of the total man-hours went to WIA-qualified workers—with nearly 120 workers hired for track and station work jobs.

“This new agreement with the Building Trades Council provides the opportunity to workers who need it most, and it preserves good-paying construction jobs for hardworking men and women throughout the region,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.

The agreement also will promote employment for U.S. military veterans, in keeping with a veteran’s hiring-preference policy the CTA enacted in May 2012 under President Claypool.

The CTA and its contractors agree to honor the collective bargaining agreements of the trade unions affiliated with the Building Trades Council. The agreement also protects against work slowdowns or stoppages at CTA job sites, which will help ensure timely completion of construction and maintenance projects.

The Building Trades Council represents more than 100,000 members of 24 construction trades, from carpenters and electricians to plumbers and laborers. The agreement covers 10 years.

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