Topping out a successful Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Legislative Week 2018, ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman gave a June 29, 2018, interview with Fox Business’ Stuart Varney from the White House where he touted the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to the construction industry and promoted the value of fair and open competition on taxpayer-funded construction contracts free from government-mandated projects labor agreements (PLAs).
Here is more from Bellaman on the benefits of fair and open competition on taxpayer-funded construction projects, free from government-mandated PLAs:
“PLAs are specific construction bargaining agreements for projects that basically force companies to have their employees join a union in order for them to work… …We have legislation that does not mandate nor prohibit union or nonunion labor. It welcomes all workers to the construction world. As a matter of fact, Stuart, 24 states have passed fair and open competition legislation over the last five or six years. The language is tested at the highest courts in the land. The path is paved for fair and open competition. There are many reports out there as well that show that fair and open competition optimizes participation and lowers the cost of construction by 12 to 18 percent.”
Bellaman estimates there are currently 500,000 construction industry job openings right now and that number could grow by an additional 600,000 or 700,000 jobs over the next few years following modest economic growth and increased infrastructure investment. With the industry facing a shortage of skilled labor and America facing an estimated $2 trillion infrastructure investment deficit, rescinding President Obama’s anti-competitive and costly pro-PLA order and ensuring economical fair and open competition on taxpayer-funded projects via legislation or an executive order makes a lot of sense.