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King and Blackwell propose Labor Standards ordinance for local jobs and contractors

Thursday February 26, 2009

For Immediate Release:
Majority Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622

In an effort to promote local jobs and businesses, Councilmen Jim King (D-10) and Rick Blackwell (D-12) have proposed a new labor standards ordinance that would cover all projects where taxpayer subsidies or assets are involved.

“This ordinance will put in writing the expectation of Metro Government that tax subsidized projects assure the hiring of local workers and contractors when taxpayer assets are involved in a local project,” says King. “The Metro Council has always been an advocate for local employment but the variety of projects involving Metro Government tax subsidies merit a standardization of our expectations for local employment. Developers deserve to know what is expected when taxpayer money is involved.”

The Labor Standards ordinance would set minimum standards for the developers of a major project receiving taxpayer assistance. Among the requirements:

  • A goal that at least 75 percent of project jobs are given to Kentucky and Indiana residents
  • A goal that at least 60 percent of project jobs are given to residents of the Louisville MSA
  • A goal of at least 20 percent minority participation, including minority owned businesses, for all employees and contractors on the project
  • A goal of at least 5 percent women participation, including female owned businesses, for employees and contractors on the project
  • Opportunities for both union and non-union employees and contractors
  • The payment of prevailing wages and benefits, as established for each profession or trade used on the project

Contractors would be expected to report their efforts to achieve the standardized goals and they would be expected to participate in recognized training programs for their employees.

“This ordinance will let everyone know what we expect, if you want Metro Louisville’s financial assistance,” says Blackwell. “In years past, we have had to impose these standards on an ad hoc basis. That leaves too much to chance when you are talking about taxpayer money.”

The proposed ordinance has been assigned to the Metro Council’s Labor and Economic Development Committee.

“We have seen great success with the Louisville Arena Authority in meeting similar labor standards with the new downtown arena,” says King. “Other developers will see the ultimate benefit of using the local workforce for their project.”

For more information about the ordinance, contact Councilman King’s office at 574-1110 or Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112.

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