Reject Forced Project Labor Agreements (PLAs)

Priority Issue Briefs
Reject Forced Project Labor Agreements (PLAs)

Project Labor Agreements reduce competition, increase costs for taxpayers, and add layers of bureaucracy and red tape to federal construction projects. Creating a formal federal process for imposing these Depression-era mandates on construction projects may be a win for special interests, but it's a loss for workers, taxpayers, and small businesses hoping to compete for federal jobs.

The beneficiaries of PLAs are Big Labor. Required PLAs mean more federal contracts are out of reach for the mid-sized and small contractors who are best able to infuse the job market with immediate opportunities.

For example, the U.S. Department of Labor decided to cancel a Job Corps Center construction project in New Hampshire. This is an example of the dangers PLAs pose to federal job creation and project efficiency. The New Hampshire project was canceled after a local contractor raised a legal challenge to the project's PLA requirement, arguing it was discriminatory and would disqualify most contractors in the state.

PLAs generally require federal contract bids to adhere to union work rules and wage scales and to pay benefits into union pension funds even when non-union workers - who will never benefit from these funds - participate in the project.

PLAs are a big win for unions in their tug-of-war with small and midsize employers.

The National Association of Government Contractors stands opposed to Project Labor Agreements that limit access to competitive contracts for small and midsize businesses capable of delivering a better product at a lower cost to American taxpayers.

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