House bans PLAs on defense contracts
The Associated Builders and Contractors are big fans of an amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act that narrowly passed the U.S. House.
By a vote of 211-209, the House May 17 banned federal agencies from requiring project labor agreements on act-authorized construction work.
“This is a victory for the nation’s merit-shop construction contractors and the 86 percent of the construction work force that chooses not to join a labor union,” said ABC Vice President of Federal Affairs Geoff Burr. “With a construction industry unemployment rate of 14.5 percent, everyone deserves a level playing field to compete for this work, regardless of labor affiliation.
Project labor agreements, sometimes called PLAs, generally allow unions to negotiate pay and other terms on construction projects. They are opposed by groups such as the ABC, which lobbies against mandatory union membership.
“The amendment passed today will ensure fair and open competition on government-funded construction contracts, as well as give taxpayers and the government the best possible construction product at the best possible price – completed safely and on time,” Burr said. “We thank the members of Congress who voted in favor of this amendment.”