The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued a survey March 24 requesting information from the construction industry on the potential use of a government-mandated project labor agreement (PLA) on construction projects at Luke Air Force Base near Glendale, Arizona.
All members of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and construction professionals are encouraged to respond to the request for information. Tell the USACE that government-mandated PLAs injure competition, increase costs, and will not advance the economy and efficiency in government contracting.
It is important to express your opposition to government-mandated PLAs today before they are mandated or encouraged on future USACE and/or state and local projects in your community.
Responses must be submitted to Sandra Oquita by COB April 26, 2011.
According to unionstats.com, just 5.3 percent of Arizona’s 2010 private construction workforce belongs to a construction union and Arizona is close to passing two pieces of legislation this legislative session that will curtail the use of government-mandated PLAs.
House Bill 2644 prohibits state and local government entities from accepting federal money if they are forced to give a preference to unions as a condition of accepting the funds.
Senate Bill 1403 prohibits government-mandated PLAs but permits contractors to voluntarily enter into PLAs.
Both bills have passed one chamber and cleared the committees of referral in the second chambers.
The USACE and other federal agencies have issued PLA surveys as a result of President Obama’s pro-PLA Executive Order 13502 and federal regulations implementing the discriminatory and costly order. The order and regulations encourage federal agencies to mandate anti-competitive and costly PLAs on a case-by-case basis on federal construction projects exceeding $25 million in total cost.
The survey results are an important source of information used to determine whether a PLA is appropriate for federal projects.
In the past few months, the USACE has issued numerous surveys requesting information about the potential use of PLAs on construction projects in numerous USACE districts across the country.
Just last week the USACE issued a PLA survey seeking information for several large-scale projects on various military bases in Alaska including Fort Wainwright, Fort Greely, Eielson Air Force Base, and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. Surveys for the USACE projects in Alaska should be submitted to Kimberly D. Tripp at [email protected] or by fax at 907-753-2544 by April 18.
ABC National and construction stakeholders and contractors have responded to all of the USACE PLA surveys.
Here are ABC National’s responses to the USACE’s recent PLA surveys:
- Letter to USACE, Louisville, KY District concerning Wright-Patterson AFB PLA (survey) (blog post) (3/22/11).
- Letter to USACE, Ft. Worth, TX District concerning Lackland AFB projects (survey) (3/7/11)
- Letter to USACE, New York District on multiple projects at West Point in Orange County, NY (2/18/11)
- Letter to USACE, Ft. Worth, TX District concerning Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housing projects at White Sands Missile Range, NM (2/3/11)
- Letter to USACE, Ft. Worth, TX District concerning Brigade Combat Team Barracks at Fort Jackson, SC (2/3/11)
- Letter to USACE, Ft. Worth, TX District concerning future projects in USACE Ft. Worth District boundaries (12/14/10)
- Letter to USACE Mobile, AL District concerning Ft. Rucker airport hangar and Mobile, AL projects (11/24/10)
- Letter to USACE Honolulu, HI District concerning four projects (11/23/10)
- Letter to USACE Louisville concerning Danbury, CT project (11/4/10)
- Letter to USACE Louisville concerning Ft. Campbell, KY area projects (11/1/10)
- Letter to USACE Savannah District (10/28/10)
For contractors, taxpayers and construction professionals unfamiliar with the problems with federal PLAs and regulations implementing President Obama’s pro-PLA Executive Order 13502, please review the previous letters sent by ABC National to the USACE, which may be helpful information for contractors to review before responding to the USACE PLA survey.
Responding with accurate and timely information is critical and effective. In 2010, the USACE removed government-mandated PLAs from the Army Reserve Center in Los Alamitos, Calif. and the Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard County, Fla. after a strong grassroots response and survey participation from the contracting community. The USACE removed a PLA mandate on the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Camden, N.J. following a legal challenge and robust grassroots response from the construction stakeholders.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to these surveys. Your responses will help maintain an open and competitive environment that will allow all qualified contractors to fairly compete for contracts to build the best possible construction projects at the best possible price.
Additional helpful links:
- 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.)
- Project Labor Agreement Basics: What is a PLA?
- Get the Truth About PLAs
- ABC National’s Main Comments to the FAR Council’s Proposed Rule
- ABC Member Survey/Comment Supplement to Main Comments
- ABC National Comments Specifically Addressing the Regulatory Flexibility Act