On April 8, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) signed H.B. 1270, which will ban government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on state and local construction projects. In addition, this new law will prohibit government entities from requiring the use of a PLA as a condition of receiving public financing or assistance for construction projects.
Although there is no significant history of PLA activity in North Dakota, this law will be critical for the merit shop construction industry in the state. It will ensure that the more than 91 percent of the state’s private construction workforce that chooses not to join a labor organization will have the opportunity to compete for projects funded by their own tax dollars without the threat of union favoritism. With the state’s construction economy booming, this law sends a strong signal to the construction industry that North Dakota is open for business.
North Dakota is the 15th state to enact PLA reform language and the 11th to do so since January 2011. As state leaders and taxpayers learn more about the negative impact of PLA mandates, many are working to enact PLA reform measures in their own states, including Georgia, where the General Assembly passed a bill with PLA reform language just prior to adjourning their legislative session for 2013. The bill is awaiting a signature or veto from Gov. Nathan Deal (R). Gov. Deal is expected to sign the bill.
August 2012: Update on state PLA reform measures