PLA Fact

Reduced Competition Increases Costs

2 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 […]


Do PLAs Reward Special Interests?

0 March 9, 2010  State & Local Construction, Uncategorized has long maintained that government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) are one of the purest forms of payback to special interests. Sometimes it is hard to believe that PLAs are even legal. And as this example will demonstrate, elected officials go to great lengths to justify their paybacks to special interests. Matthew J. Brouillette, president […]


Domestic Dispute in Big Labor’s House

1 January 20, 2010  State & Local Construction, Uncategorized

Despite the special interest handouts to Big Labor by politicians supported by construction trades unions at the local, state and federal level, trouble’s brewing in the fragile house of Big Labor.  A reader sent me this sensational letter from Terry Nelson, executive secretary treasurer of the Carpenters’ Disctrict Council of Greater St. Louis and Vicinity. Nelson is outraged that […]


CNN Calls Project Labor Agreements and Executive Order 13502 a Massive Windfall for Organized Labor

0 August 14, 2009  Federal Construction, Uncategorized

Yesterday was the deadline for regulatory comments in response to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council’s proposed rule to implement Executive Order 13502 regarding the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects. Relying on factual evidence and industry experience, numerous trade associations and hundreds of ABC contractors yesterday submitted comments in strong opposition […]


New Evidence Shows Project Labor Agreements Will Injure Competition

0 August 14, 2009  Federal Construction, State & Local Construction, Uncategorized

On July 15, 2009, ABC’s weekly electronic publication, Newsline, conducted an electronic poll of Newsline subscribers about the impact of government mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on bidding for public construction projects.  The poll remained open until July 22, 2009 and readers were asked to respond to this question:  “Would you be more likely or […]


Update: PLAs Are About Politics: the California Experience

0 July 28, 2009  Federal Construction, School Construction, State & Local Construction, Uncategorized

After twelve years of fighting Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) at local governments in California, I’ve developed a set of axioms based on my experiences.  One of these axioms is that PLAs are about politics, not logic.  After all, what kind of logic would lead an elected official to establish work conditions that would discourage perfectly […]


Executive Order No. 13502 Does Not Require Any State or Local Government To Impose Union-Only Project Labor Agreements On Construction Projects Built With Federal Assistance

1 July 20, 2009  Federal Construction, State & Local Construction, Transportation & Infrastructure, Uncategorized

This post addresses the question of whether President Obama’s Executive Order No 13502 (Feb. 6, 2009) requires state or local governments to impose union-only project labor agreements (PLAs) on construction projects built with federal assistance.  As further explained below, the Executive Order is quite clear on this point: Nothing in the Executive Order requires any […]


Construction Unions Push PLAs to Save Underfunded Union Pension Plans

1 June 10, 2009  Uncategorized

A piece in The Washington Examiner (“Almost half of top unions have underfunded pension plans,” 6/7) reports that some major construction labor unions have underfunded pension plans.  This is relevant to the PLA debate because PLAs typically force non-union employers and their employees to contribute to union pension funds for time worked on a PLA project. Readers may […]


Is President Obama’s Pro-PLA Executive Order Even Legal?

0 May 12, 2009  Federal Construction

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council is in the process of issuing regulations to implement President Obama’s Executive Order 13502, which declares that executive agencies awarding contracts on “large scale construction projects” (having a total cost to the federal government of $25 million or more) “may, on a project-by project basis, require the use of […]


Gaming the System: California’s Environmental Laws Are Pivotal to Unions Winning Project Labor Agreements from Private Developers

0 May 11, 2009  State & Local Construction, Uncategorized

In California, Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) are the primary tactic used by construction unions to gain market share in the industry.  And PLAs are not confined to public works projects.  Particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento area, the City of Los Angeles, and the San Diego area, private developers have been signing […]