New Bills Stadium Misses Minority Goals
Governor Hochul forced the Buffalo Bills into mandating a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the new Buffalo Bills Stadium project, claiming that a PLA would help this project hit every goal they set and promote minorities and women in construction. In some of the least surprising news we have received, not even the first set of goals could be met. It turns out the PLA did nothing to benefit minorities in the region.
Erie County chairwoman April Baskin is rightfully outraged about the project, saying to the Buffalo News:
"I am, absolutely, just disgusted at their lack of transparency, at their ability to ignore the language in the legal document that the Buffalo Bills signed that says that they are accountable to outreach in a very specific way if they think that I'm going to stand for them submitting a bunch of waivers and 'good faith effort' when I have a laundry list of people who are sitting here saying, 'We want to work. We don't know how we can figure it out. They are sadly mistaken."
While we share Chairwoman Baskin's frustration with the lack of results, we knew this was what would happen. Supporters constantly tout their "benefits," but in reality, a PLA is a commitment to intentionally excluding over 70% of the construction workforce because they choose not to be in a union. Governor Hochul says she wants to promote minorities and women in construction. How is limiting their participation opportunities helpful? The simple answer is that it doesn't. It's lip service to gain votes while keeping her union donors happy.
Chairwoman Baskin also very accurately noted, "This is heading down a path of danger, where in a blink of an eye, we're going to have missed out on an opportunity to build up our communities economically." We agree that a PLA does this; it takes away opportunities for local workers to build up their communities and is a discriminatory practice meant to exclude non-union construction workers. Governor Hochul, if you genuinely want to promote minorities and women in construction, stop locking them out of work; remove the PLA from the Buffalo Bills Stadium and allow all local workers to build and benefit from the project in their community.