It didn’t take long for the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) to reach out to President-elect Donald Trump in the New Year to encourage the incoming administration to “immediately rescind President Obama’s Executive Order 13502, Use of Project Labor Agreements [PLAs] for Federal Construction Projects, which strongly encourages federal agencies to require PLAs on a case-by-case basis on federal construction projects.” The request came via a January 4 letter from ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman.
In his letter, Bellaman claimed that “PLAs are special interest carve-outs designed to funnel work to favored unionized contractors and their unionized workforces.”
The letter went on to say that by “mandating PLA requirement on publicaly funded projects, the government effectively tilts the playing field, stifles competition and prevents taxpayers from receiving the best possible construction product at the best possible price.”
First, the executive order mentioned in this letter does not “require” PLAs on federal projects. The order also does not require contractors or subcontractors to enter into a project labor agreement with any particular labor union. Union labor is hired on PLA projects because we are the best trained workforce in the construction industry.
Second, Project Labor Agreements have been proven on project after project to ensure timely completion, prevent budget over-runs, provide the finest quality workforce, and develop local communities through training. PLAs also better ensure a safe job site when a highly trained workforce is on the job. That’s good for the workers, and that’s good for a company’s bottom line.
The real reason the ABC is calling on the president-elect to rescind this executive order is clear when you read this article in The Painters & Allied Trades Journal on page 21. Anti-union forces are at work to not only take away project labor agreements, which provide good union jobs, but also Davis-Bacon rules that protect our wages.
Want to learn more about PLAS and why they are good for business and the economy? Click HERE.