Coalition Letter to President Trump on the Need to Rescind the Obama Era Project Labor Agreement (PLA) Executive Order

By at 23 July, 2018, 2:46 pm

On July 23, a coalition of business organizations sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to rescind President Obama’s Executive Order 13502 and replace it with Executive Orders 13202 and 13208.  As noted in the letter:  “This critical reform will prevent federal agencies and state and local government recipients of federal assistance from requiring contractors to sign an anti-competitive and costly PLA as a condition of winning a federal or federally assisted construction contract.”

According to the groups, the policy makes no sense and with the possibility of a large scale infrastructure bill in the future, it is important that federal policy maximize taxpayer dollars and ensure that qualified labor and businesses can compete on existing and future projects. According to letter:

“When mandated by government agencies, PLAs can interfere with existing union collective bargaining agreements. In addition, they unfairly discourage competition from quality nonunion contractors and their employees, who comprise 86 percent of the U.S. private construction industry, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

“Multiple studies of hundreds of taxpayer-funded school construction projects found PLA mandates increase the cost of construction between 12 percent and 18 percent compared to similar non-PLA projects. In addition, recent government mandated PLAs on federal and federally assisted projects have resulted in litigation, reduced competition, increased costs, needless delays and poor local hiring outcomes.

“Therefore, it makes little sense to continue a policy that artificially discourages the majority of skilled American labor and qualified contractors from competing to deliver to taxpayers the best possible product at the best possible price.”

The groups signing the letter include:

American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA)

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)

Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC)

Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT)

Independent Electrical Contractors Association (IEC)

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC)

NFIB National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA)

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council)

Read the letter in its entirety here.

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