ABC Member Discusses Federal Project Labor Agreements on Fox Business Network

2 May 13, 2010  Federal Construction, Uncategorized

Last night, David Asman of FOX Business Network’s “America’s Nightly Scoreboard” program interviewed Brett McMahon, vice president of ABC member firm Miller & Long Concrete Construction, about the April 13 final rule implementing President Obama’s pro-project labor agreement (PLA) Executive Order 13502.

The Obama order strongly encourages federal agencies to steer lucrative construction contracts to union-signatory construction firms on federal construction projects costing more than $25 million.  It is a special interest scheme that will hurt taxpayers and small businesses and cost jobs.

This interview explains the problems with government-mandated PLAs and President Obama’s Executive Order 13502 – similar to the blog post we wrote earlier today: PLA Final Rule Takes Effect Today: Let the Waste, Cronyism and Discrimination Begin.


Note McMahon’s discussion on one of the many reasons why PLAs harm nonunion employees and employers: pensions. Learn why these schemes are an attempt to bail out failing union-managed multi-employer pension plans (MEPPs) and how these wasteful agreements actually confiscate retirement funds earned by nonunion employees and redistribute them to unionized employees here.

McMahon also explains that a PLA forces the few nonunion employees who are permitted to work on a PLA project to pay dues to the union. Review how and why PLAs are a bad deal for nonunion employees and employers in this post: Project Labor Agreement Basics: What is a PLA?

Finally, Asman acknowledges that PLAs make little sense for taxpayers because they reduce competition on contracts and create a costly environment in which taxpayers can’t get the best possible product at the best possible price. Stifled competition and union work rules are exactly why PLAs needlessly inflate the cost of construction by up to 20 percent when compared to similar non-PLA projects.

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2 Responses to ABC Member Discusses Federal Project Labor Agreements on Fox Business Network

vince piscopo September 30, 2010 at 8:27 pm

is it legal for construction unions to stike/picket federal projects?

BenBrubeck October 5, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Yes, it is legal. Unions market PLAs to construction owners and government officials as a tool to prevent strikes and labor unrest on a construction project (that they themselves create) in exchange for a commitment from owners to require all or most of the labor building the project to be supplied from union halls. However, it is a myth that PLAs prevent strikes 100 percent of the time as there are numerous examples of strikes on public and private projects subject to a PLA. You can read about them here:

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