Another Discriminatory Obama Project Labor Agreement Beaten Back by ABC


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today announced another victory in its fight against government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects. As a result of a bid protest filed Oct. 18 with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a PLA mandate has been removed from the bidding process for the construction of a $50 million U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Research Office Building in Pittsburgh.

“PLAs are special interest schemes that force all bidders for construction projects to sign a labor agreement with construction unions as a condition of performing work,” said ABC President and CEO Kirk Pickerel. “This is the fourth successful bid protest that ABC has supported on behalf of one of its members against unlawful PLA schemes on federal construction projects. In similar protests filed on projects in New Hampshire, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey, federal agencies have withdrawn the PLA mandates. This case gives us the clearest indication yet that PLAs violate federal competitive bidding laws.”

ABC member company Bridges Construction of Pittsburgh, supported and assisted by ABC, filed a bid protest with the GAO. The protest challenged the VA’s PLA mandate that appeared in a September 10 bid solicitation (pdf) for the Research Office Building. The PLA requirement discriminated against qualified open shop contractors and their employees by imposing union dues requirements and inefficient and costly union work rules as a condition of performing work on the project.

During the course of the GAO protest, the VA revealed that its own PLA impact study found imposing a PLA on the project would increase costs by millions of dollars, would reduce the number of bidders and subcontractors, and would decrease the pool of skilled labor. In spite of this evidence, the VA claimed a PLA was supported by President Obama’s Executive Order 13502, which “encourages” federal agencies to impose PLAs on large construction projects if “consistent with law.”

Read the rest @ The Truth About PLAs.


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