A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

PLA Update

In an earlier posting, we noted that the President had signed Executive Order No. 13502 requiring that Federal projects over $25 million have a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the unions.  As noted in the original posting, this move supports the unions and effectively blocks 85% of the country’s construction workers from working or bidding on government projects.  It seems that other organizations are adopting that rule as well.  At the University of Iowa, the Board of Regents voted 5-4 to adopt a PLA for a new outpatient clinic it is building in Coralville, Iowa.  According to the Coralville Courier, the Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa (ABC) is protesting, but so far, has not made any progress.  The article quotes ABC’s President and CEO, Greg Spenner as saying 

“PLAs, which are contract agreements written by union bosses are designed to ensure that projects are awarded only to unionized contractors.  In Iowa, 8 out of 10 construction workers have chosen not to join a construction labor union.  A union negotiated contract ... prevents such a large majority of Iowa’s construction workforce from working on a project.  This is blatant discrimination and the Culver cronies on the Board of Regents took this partisan action under direct pressure from Governor Culver who signed an executive order earlier this year requiring state agencies to consider using these discriminatory agreements.”

It appears that this is one more example of the spread of the PLAs into the construction industry just when the stats show the industry is suffering from 25%+ or 2 million unemployed right now.

What is going on in your locale on this issue?


Anonymous's picture

The ABC will always give a negative twist on PLA's (Project Labor Agreements). The reasoning for the negative twist is simply this, they beleive that an open market approach that allows bidders the opportunity to bid against each by means of whose price can go the lowest is the best approach. This approach has eroded away at the middle class for a Century now and as a result the middle class is diminishing. The approach the ABC proposes is one in which a WALMART mentality is exceptable and the workers don't matter as long as they are paid something. With Project Labor Agreements workers and owners are assured that everyone will be competing for the same work on a level playing field by bidding competitive wages and benefits that do not erode away the middle class. The owners of companies wouldn't perform work without a contract, so why should the workers have too........... The ABC has become the WALMART of the Construction industry, not only diminishing the middle class but supporting unscrupulous owners in the process.

Just remember PLA's are good for the owner and the worker and that's as simple as not forgetting your ABC's

Anonymous's picture

I disagree. All those measures can become part of the bid requirments without requiring a union to be invovlved. Just level the playing field and and invite everyone to play.

Administrator's picture

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human and to prevent automated spam submissions.