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NYC Union Strike Shuts Down Project Labor Agreement Jobsites Again

0 July 13, 2015  Featured, Open Competition Works, State & Local Construction

Earlier this month, New York City jobsites were shut down after unions failed to honor their project labor agreement’s (PLA) no-strike promise. It is at least the third time since 2011 various NYC unions blatantly violated no-strike provisions in controversial PLAs, which steer construction contracts to unionized contractors and provide jobs exclusively for union members […]

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NYC Carpenters Union Breaks Project Labor Agreement’s No-Strike Promise at 4 WTC Jobsite

3 July 2, 2013  Featured, State & Local Construction

According to a press release by the New York City District Council Carpenters Union, hundreds of carpenters union members went on strike Monday—affecting major construction projects around New York City and New Jersey, including some covered by project labor agreements (PLAs). According to the New York Daily News (“Nailing down a contract: Carpenters’ strike would affect […]

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Many Construction Industry Multiemployer Pension Plans Remain Severely Underfunded

3 July 1, 2013  Featured, Federal Construction, State & Local Construction

Construction unions attempt to entice merit shop craft professionals and young workers into joining a union with promises of generous retirement benefits through multi-employer pension plans (MEPPs). They also convince elected officials in charge of procuring taxpayer-funded construction projects why union contractors and union workers deserve special treatment through various schemes like government-mandated project labor […]

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The Dismal Future of Construction Industry Multiemployer Pension Plans

1 April 23, 2012  Federal Construction, State & Local Construction

A new report shining light on the dreadful health of multi-employer pension plans (MEPPs) for U.S. union workers and retirees estimates such plans are only 52 percent funded, with a $369 billion shortfall. MEPPs in the construction industry are responsible for a significant amount of pension shortfalls.

Construction MEPPs are responsible for about $167 billion (or 47 percent) worth of PBGC-insured MEPP underfunding. Abd it could get worse. Fifty-five percent of the 1,488 MEPPs insured by the PBGC are in the construction industry. The largest number of employees from any industry, about 3.885 million or 37.4 percent of all PBGC-insured MEPP participants (workers and retirees), are from the construction industry.

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Reduced Competition Increases Costs

1 December 7, 2011  Open Competition Works

One fundamental economic principle is rarely wrong: Reduced competition increases costs. It is a fairly intuitive premise.  Unfortunately, some government officials (often controlled by special interests) fail to grasp this basic economic concept. They often unwittingly—or even worse, knowingly—implement policies that unfairly cater to special interests or address both legitimate and erroneous public policy concerns at the […]

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Another PLA Myth Busted: PLAs Fail to Prevent Strikes on NYC Projects

2 August 2, 2011  Featured, State & Local Construction

Construction unions market project labor agreements (PLAs) to public and private construction owners as a tool to guarantee labor peace on construction projects. But recent examples of strikes and walkouts on PLA projects in NYC and other areas across the U.S. call into question the value of these anti-competitive schemes designed steer contracts to union contractors and union […]

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House Legislation Will Create Fair and Open Competition for Federal Construction Contracts

3 February 17, 2011  Federal Construction

On Wednesday, Feb. 16, Congressman John Sullivan (R-Okla.) introduced the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act (H.R. 735) (pdf). The legislation will protect taxpayers and ensure fair and open competition on government construction contracts by prohibiting the government from mandating anti-competitive and costly project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal and federally assisted construction projects. The Government Neutrality in […]

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Do Project Labor Agreements Ensure Compliance with Labor Laws?

3 November 2, 2010  School Construction, State & Local Construction, Uncategorized

It is a myth that anti-competitive government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) — schemes public officials beholden to Big Labor’s special interests execute to funnel lucrative public construction contracts to unionized contractors and union members in return for continued political support — ensure compliance with labor and employment laws and regulations.

An audit found violations by 55 contractors working on a $150 million Los Angeles Unified School District high school under construction in San Fernando, Calif., subject to a government-mandated PLA. The violations include failure to pay prevailing wages and inadequate supervision of apprentices. Four of the contractors had expired or suspended licenses.

The audit results demonstrate contractors working under a government-mandated PLA violate labor laws, yet PLA proponents frequently perpetuate the myth that a PLA prevents labor law infractions on PLA projects. This example shows how the presence of a PLA does little to ensure compliance with labor laws and the arguments in support of PLA mandates are weak.

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Project Labor Agreements and Big Labor Fail at Local Job Creation

5 August 5, 2010  Federal Construction, State & Local Construction

Big Labor bosses and government-mandated project labor agreement (PLA) advocates frequently claim that PLAs are the only way to guarantee local hire on construction projects funded by tax dollars. Of course, this is another myth promoted by special interests to convince lawmakers and taxpayers that there is a public benefit to anti-competitive and costly PLA […]

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