HARRISBURG,  June 30, 2011 –  State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione tonight offered an amendment to a key budget bill that would have prevented labor unrest at the Graterford Prison project.

“The Graterford project is an important project and its timely completion is critical to addressing the Commonwealth’s prison capacity needs,” Tartaglione told the Senate Rules Committee when offering her amendment to Senate Bill 907. “A project labor agreement is essential to guaranteeing that occurs.”

In 2008, the Department of General Services entered into a project labor agreement with labor organizations in southeastern Pennsylvania to ensure “labor peace and harmony through a no-strike, no lock out commitment by all involved personnel in order to meet the construction deadline.”

The agreement was later upheld by the state Supreme Court but, three months ago, Gov. Tom Corbett re-bid the project and nullified the PLA.

Despite the strong support of Democratic Leader Jay Costa of Allegheny County and Democratic Appropriations Chairman Vincent Hughes, of Philadelphia, the measure was defeated by a party-line vote.

“I’m grateful for the support of Senators Costa and Hughes who agreed that keeping everyone involved in the project working and resolving their differences without delays is the best way to ensure meeting the construction deadline,” Tartaglione said.