From TheDay.com Connecticut (4/02/08) :
Tribe, Unions Put 'Historic' Labor Deal On The Dotted Lineand further continues...
by Heather Allen
Mohegan — The Mohegan Tribe announced Tuesday that a project labor agreement has been signed among the tribe, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and the New London-Norwich Building and Construction Trades Council.
This is the first such agreement to be signed relating to a project on sovereign land in the state.
“It's really a historic agreement,” said Jeff Hartmann, chief operating officer of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. “I think it says in the spirit of negotiation and cooperation, these types of agreements can be forged.”
While the signed agreement was not made public Tuesday, most project labor agreements, or PLAs, stipulate that only union labor be used on a specific project, in this case Mohegan Sun's $925 million expansion project, in exchange for a no-strike agreement. The agreements are most commonly seen in relation to large, complex construction projects.
The tribe has always used union labor in its various construction projects but had never signed a PLA before.
And while a PLA is not required, the tribe entered into the agreement anyway.
“It's no secret they didn't have to do it,” said Chuck Appleby, legislative and political director for the trades council. “This shows the respect they have for us to put their names on the dotted line.”
Mike Rosario, a union representative for the plumbers and pipefitters union Local 777, said a panel will be set up to listen to and resolve any potential disputes and resolve those matters, avoiding strikes and walkouts.Read Full Story
“It's a win-win for everyone,” Rosario said. “You don't win when you walk off the job.”
Across the Thames River, a spokesman for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation said the tribe always uses members of the trade council in its construction projects but has never entered into a formal agreement.
“We have nothing but the highest respect of the professionalism and the work product that they can produce,” said Bruce MacDonald, tribal spokesman.