Another costly and discriminatory government-mandated project labor agreement (PLA) has been removed from a federal construction project thanks to grassroots participation from the construction community, concerned taxpayers, ABC members and their employees.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) removed a PLA from the bid solicitation for the construction of a $25 million to $100 million Army Reserve Center in Los Alamitos, Calif.
In July, the USACE issued a market survey requesting information from the contracting community about the feasibility of using a PLA on the Army Reserve Center in Los Alamitos, a small city in Orange County.
After receiving a strong anti-PLA response from the construction community, USACE procurement officials issued an amendment Aug. 31 that removed the PLA mandate.
TheTruthAboutPLAs.com readers may recall that in August, the USACE also removed government-mandated PLAs from bid solicitations for construction projects at the Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County, Fla. and the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Camden, N.J. Both PLAs were eliminated because of a robust grassroots response from the construction community in opposition to the PLA.
Now that the PLA was wisely removed by the USACE, taxpayers and the USACE will be better served by increased competition from qualified contractors and their skilled employees who simply want a fair opportunity to deliver the best possible construction product at the best possible price. Nonunion craft professionals and their families will have a real chance to benefit from jobs created by this investment of federal tax dollars in this important project.
With the construction industry suffering from 17 percent unemployment (as of Aug. 2010) it is critical for federal agencies to put an end to favoritism towards union members and union signatory contractors via PLAs. Nonunion craft professionals should not have to join a union, pay union dues and forfeit fringe benefit contributions to union plans in order to have a job and feed their families.
Update: September 30, the USACE awarded a contract for $23.395 million to a contractor without a government-mandated PLA.
USACE Honolulu District Solicits Comments on PLAs
The USACE Honolulu District is soliciting comments from the construction community addressing the potential use of PLAs for large scale construction projects exceeding $25 million in the state of Hawaii.
It is critical for ABC members and the construction community to respond to this seven question survey. Tell the USACE that a government-mandated PLA on Hawaii USACE projects will injure competition, increase costs and will not advance economy and efficiency in government contracting.
All comments must be submitted by Oct. 18.
For contractors, taxpayers and construction professionals unfamiliar with the problems with federal PLAs and regulations implementing President Obama’s pro-PLA Executive Order 13502, below are links to ABC National comments, which may be helpful information for contractors to review before responding to the USACE PLA survey.
The blog post, “PLA Final Rule Takes Effect Today: Let the Waste, Cronyism and Discrimination Begin,” provides a helpful overview about the current state of federal PLAs and the Obama order.
On April 21, 2010, ABC National released, “The Final Rule Implementing the PLA Executive Order: Why it Should Be Challenged” by ABC general council Maurice Baskin, Esp., Venable LLP. This document argues that the Obama Administration’s actions and the FAR Council’s final rule violate federal procurement laws; discriminate against 85 percent of the construction industry workforce and many small businesses; and hurt taxpayers.
Here is a blog post about this document.