Allentown's Accountable Contractor Ordinance despatched again to metropolis council for revisions; critics say it might improve taxes

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Though Allentown’s “Accountable Contractor Ordinance” handed metropolis council 4 to three, it is nonetheless not legislation fairly but, after being despatched again for revisions by Mayor Matt Tuerk.

“We want to see laws that’s good for our staff right here in Allentown,” Tuerk mentioned.

Tuerk helps the laws however says amendments had been wanted to repair typos and omit unbiased metropolis authorities, just like the parking authority.

“We’re creating laws that requires us to comply with a sure set of tips and laws that we’re following within the metropolis. The parking authority is an unbiased authority, and they’re free to function in line with their guidelines,” Tuerk mentioned.

The ordinance, amongst different issues, would require contractors bidding on metropolis tasks value greater than $100,000 to supply apprenticeship applications that conform to U.S. Division of Labor requirements.

Additionally, no less than 80% of the employees must be Lehigh Valley residents.

The invoice has drawn criticism. Opponents say it is giving the higher hand to unions and can improve taxes.

“Actually, it is a time the place we needs to be creating environments of inclusion…I at all times ask the query: When is it okay to create separate courses of individuals, staff, no matter?” mentioned Joe Perpiglia, President & CEO of the Related Builders and Contractors of Japanese PA.

He says the ordinance takes away freedom of selection for companies that wish to work with the town.

“In case you have an organization that has skilled individuals, they’ve grown to a dimension, and they’re sturdy. They don’t seem to be going to place individuals in my apprenticeship program. They don’t seem to be going to go to the state and register their very own,” Perpiglia mentioned.

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“This isn’t union vs. anti-union. That is about ensuring we reward contracts and companies that consider their workers deserve one of the best,” mentioned Councilman Josh Seigel.

Seigel argues there are already comparable legal guidelines for Lehigh and Northampton counties, and it hasn’t elevated taxes.

“I really assume that is about defending taxpayers. Once we do massive public works tasks – whether or not it is bridges, or new buildings – we wish to ensure we get the highest quality product. With the intention to try this we want to ensure now we have one of the best skilled workforce,” Siegel mentioned.

The invoice is predicted to be amended, voted on, and despatched again to the mayor someday in April.