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Metro Newsroom

King and Blackwell to review Mayor’s action on Labor Standards ordinance

Tuesday May 19, 2009

For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/ 526-3622
              Stephen Haag 574-1204/ 645-1752

Councilmen Jim King (D-10) and Rick Blackwell (D-12) say they will review Mayor Jerry Abramson’s veto of the labor standards ordinance before deciding on how to move forward.

“This ordinance is a priority for us and now that the mayor has expressed his concerns, we will react appropriately,” says King. “This is too important to our local workers and contractors to stop now.”

“I certainly agree with the Mayor’s concerns for job creation. In fact, ‘local jobs for local workers’ are at the heart of this intent of this ordinance.” says Blackwell. “When we invest local tax dollars in a project there needs to be balance between the gains for business and the gains for workers. ”

The Labor Standards Ordinance was passed by a vote of 16 to 10 on Thursday, May 14th. Under the ordinance, any company or business that uses tax payer dollars is obligated to work toward using local contractors and workers on their project. The ordinances sets goals of 75 per cent of workers must come from the Metro Louisville area. There is a goal of 20 per cent use of minority workers and 5 per cent for women.

The law requires paying the local prevailing wage.

Small businesses with 15 or less employees are exempt from this ordinance.

“We based this ordinance on the model that was used for hiring on the downtown arena project,” says King. “In our discussions, there has not been any evidence shown of an employer that did not want to locate in Metro Louisville because of this ordinance. Tax incentives related to job creation are also exempt from the ordinance.

In July 2006, Mayor Abramson issued a veto on the Council resolution accompanying the memorandum of understanding on the Arena.

“The Council will now review the Mayor’s concern.” says Blackwell. “Remember it was after the veto on the Arena that the compromise was reached that has been widely praised for promoting minority, female and local workers on the job.”

Jim King (D) 10
Rick Blackwell (D) 12