Associated Builders and Contractors’ weekly electronic newsletter, Newsline, ran a story in yesterday’s edition about ABC’s meeting with Obama officials to discuss and oppose Executive Order 13502 (“ABC Meets with Obama Administration to Discuss PLA Executive Order). Here are some excerpts:
ABC, along with two other trade associations, May 21 met with senior Obama administration officials and representatives from the Department of Labor to discuss the negative impact of expanding the federal government’s use of government mandated union-only project labor agreements (PLA), as directed by Executive Order 13502.
Executive Order 13502, signed by President Obama Feb. 6, encourages federal agencies to require the use of government mandated PLAs on federal construction projects worth more than $25 million. The order also repealed President Bush’s Executive Order 13202 which prohibited federal agencies and recipients of federal funding from requiring contractors to sign PLAs. Section 7 of the Executive Order directs federal officials to determine if broader use of government mandated PLAs on federal and federally funded construction projects would promote the economical, efficient and timely completion of federal construction projects.
For more details about Executive Order 13502, TheTruthAboutPLAs.com contributors posted about President Obama’s Executive Order encouraging the use of PLAs on federal construction projects over $25 million here and here.
During the meeting, representatives from ABC, Associated General Contractors and the Construction Industry Round Table were invited to share their experiences about the use of PLAs on government-funded projects and the impact they have on government procurement officials and taxpayers.
“We were pleased to have the opportunity to meet and begin an open discussion about the detrimental effects expanding the use of PLAs would have on fair, free and open competition on federal construction contracts,” said Jerry Gorski, 2009 ABC national chairman and president of Gorski Engineering, Inc., Collegeville, Pa., who attended the meeting. “It’s important for federal officials to understand that government mandated PLAs will unnecessarily increase the cost of federal construction projects, and discourage 85 percent of the construction industry that choose not to belong to a union from competing for these contracts.
“ABC will continue working with the administration to ensure everyone – including merit shop contractors – has an equal opportunity to participate on federal construction projects during a time when the nation is still shedding jobs and getting people back to work is a top priority,” Gorski added.
Section 6 of Executive Order 13502 mandates that within 120 days of Feb. 6 (Friday, 6/5/09 to be exact), the Federal Acquisition Council (FAR Council) shall amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to implement the provisions of the Executive Order, which, among other things, permits federal agencies to require the use of PLAs on federal projects valued at $25 million or greater.
Please stay tuned for analysis, talking points and a response to the FAR Council’s interim rule for Executive Order 13502 as it will be published anytime within the next two weeks.