The Georgia General Assembly last week enacted project labor agreement (PLA) reform legislation with just over 20 minutes left in the 2013 legislative session. The bill will now go to Gov. Nathan Deal (R) for his signature or veto. Merit shop advocates believe he will sign the legislation into law.
In addition to banning government-mandated PLAs on state and local projects, S.B. 179 likely will ensure fair and open competition for the new Atlanta Falcons’ $950 million stadium project. Supporters of this bill believe that it will prevent the Georgia World Congress Center from requiring contractors to sign a PLA as a condition of performing work on the stadium project, which will give the 96 percent of Georgia’s private construction workforce that chooses not to join a union an equal opportunity to compete for work on this critical project.
Once enacted, this bill will help ensure taxpayers get the best construction at the best price. PLA and other union-only mandates have been found to increase construction costs by an average of 12-18 percent—and much more in some cases. Additionally, the numerous examples of stadium projects subject to unnecessary PLA requirements gone bad show these mandates do not ensure a local workforce, quality construction, cost savings or on-time delivery.
In response to the rising threat of PLA mandates – in large part a result of an executive order issued by President Barack Obama that eliminated a ban on government-mandated PLAs on federally assisted projects and encourages them on federal projects costing more than $25 million – 14 states have banned PLA mandates on taxpayer-funded construction projects in their states to some degree.
Here at TheTruthAboutPLAs.com, we strongly encourage Gov. Deal to sign this bill as soon as it reaches his desk. It is good for taxpayers and the vast majority of the construction industry that chooses not to join a labor union. In addition, we strongly encourage Georgia’s neighbors to enact similar laws as soon as possible.