The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (IW) welcomes and supports the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) announcement of proposed offshore wind lease sales in the New York Bight with proposed Project Labor Agreement (PLA) stipulations for construction.
Union ironworkers erected the turbines off Block Island in Rhode Island, the first offshore wind project in the United States. The 128,000 members of the Iron Workers are equipped with the skills to build the renewable energy economy, and IW registered apprenticeship programs are ready to train the next generation of offshore wind construction workers. PLAs are a widely used method for private-sector developers to lock in high training standards, productivity and working conditions from the beginning of a project.
Strong labor standards will be necessary to ensure that renewable energy creates good union jobs and that the industry fosters a skilled American workforce. BOEM’s proposed stipulation would be a powerful tool to make that happen. It reinforces a trend toward PLAs in the offshore wind industry by developers working with building trades unions.
BOEM’s proposal is a win for workers, the environment and coastal communities. It’s another stride by the Biden administration to make fighting climate change mean good union jobs. The Iron Workers hope this PLA stipulation will be in these and other leases going forward.
Iron Workers Statement on BOEM NY PLA