The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review also voiced it’s opposition to wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreements in a November 16 editorial titled, “Blunting Big Labor.”
Blunting Big Labor
Monday, November 16, 2009
Kudos to Ken Holmes for stopping in its tracks taxpayer-funded political payback to organized labor.
Mr. Holmes is president of nonunion North Branch Construction in New Hampshire, where the U.S. Department of Labor required contractors hoping to build a $35 million Job Corps Center to use project labor agreements (PLAs).
Correctly seeing PLAs’ mandate of employment on union terms as a violation of federal law and procurement rules, North Branch filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office.
Labor responded by canceling bidding but said the project will go forward. It left unclear whether bidders again will face the PLA requirement.
Because PLAs hike project costs by as much as 20 percent, according to the Beacon Hill Institute, they’re obviously bad for taxpayers. Equally obvious is that this initial Obama administration attempt to reverse Bush-era policy by requiring PLAs aimed to reward politically supportive unions with public dollars.
PLAs also destroy free trade and fair competition. So let the North Branch complaint mark not just a temporary halt but the end of federal PLA requirements.
That would be a fitting testament to the courage displayed by Mr. Holmes and his company in opposing White House political bribery.
This editorial is referencing the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) decision to cancel its solicitation for bids to construct a new Job Corps Center in Manchester, N.H. under a government-mandated project labor agreement.
The cancellation came in response to a protest filed with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) by ABC member North Branch Construction of Concord, N.H., with ABC support and representation. North Branch Construction challenged the PLA as unlawful and discriminatory.
The DOL’s Job Corps Center PLA was believed to be the first government-mandated PLA on a federal construction project since President Obama’s Executive Order 13502 was issued.