Washington Examiner Editorial on Project Labor Agreements: No Local Construction Firms Need Apply

0 October 5, 2009  Federal Construction, Uncategorized

The government-mandated project labor agreement (PLA) on the Manchester, NH Job Corps project continues to garner negative publicity.  In an October 2 Washington Examiner editorial titled, “No Local Construction Firms Need Apply,” Barbara Hollingsworth notes Senator Judd Gregg’s frustration with the impact this PLA will have on New Hampshire’s construction industry.

Here’s an excerpt:

And since the Labor Department’s request for bids requires proof of three prior PLAs, Sen. Gregg says, “not a single firm in our state would be eligible to bid on this multi-million-dollar construction project.” Mark MacKenzie, president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, acknowledged that only out-of-state contractors will be able to bid on the work. (read Senator Gregg’s press release about the Manchester Job Corps project PLA here)

The op-ed also notes the finding of the recently released Beacon Hill Institute study, “Project Labor Agreemens on Federal Construction Projects: A Costly Solution in Search of a Problem:”

A recent study on PLAs in three states by the Beacon Hill Institute found that PLAs increased the price of construction projects anywhere from 12 to 18 percent without reducing cost overruns, construction delays, or labor disputes – the chief benefits cited by their proponents. Executive director David G. Tuerck, one of the study’s authors, concluded that PLAs are “an effort to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.”

Even the president of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO admits that E.O. 13502 and the Manchester Job Corps project PLA will keep New Hampshire contractors – and their local employees – from competing for this project. 

This is bad for both in-state contractors and the 91 percent of the Granite State’s private construction workforce that decided not to join a labor union. 

Congratulations New Hampshire, you are about to become the first victim of President Obama’s Executive Order 13502.

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