Rep. Frank Guinta submits Ban on PLA/union Exclusive Contracts that would Save Taxpayers Billions

“When all contractors get a fair shake, the taxpayer gets a good deal.   And that’s good for everyone.”

(WASHINGTON – February 15, 2011)  U.S. Representative Frank Guinta has submitted an amendment to H.R. 1 (the Continuing Resolution for the rest of the fiscal year), banning union-favoring project labor agreements (PLA’s) on federal construction projects.

Guinta’s amendment says: “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to enter into, after the date of enactment of this Act, a Government contract that requires a project labor agreement.”

Almost two years ago, President Obama signed Executive Order 13502.  It requires construction projects to be awarded only to companies that agree to recognize unions as the representatives of their employees on that job; use the union hiring hall to obtain workers; follow archaic and inefficient union work rules; and pay into union benefit and multi-employer pension plans.

Studies indicate that in numerous markets, PLA’s increase the price of construction projects between 12 and 18 percent compared to similar non-PLA projects.  (Source: Industries At A Glance, Construction NAICS 23.  Bureau of Labor Statistics.  February 2, 2011)  PLA’s were banned until President Obama’s executive order; according to a study cited by the Cato Institute, that ban saved taxpayers up to $2.6 billion in 2008 alone. (Source: Tuerck, Glassman and Bachman 2009)

“PLA’s are nothing but political payback to unions that come at the taxpayer’s expense,” Guinta said.  “They drive up the cost of already expensive government construction projects.  They divert scarce revenue; instead of using limited taxpayer dollars to restore our crumbling infrastructure, PLA’s put money in the pockets of unions.  The amendment I submitted would level the playing field and restore competition among contractors.  When all contractors get a fair shake, the taxpayer gets a good deal.  And that’s good for everyone.”

The House is considering amendments to H.R. 1 this week.  The resolution allows for federal spending from March 4th through the end of the current fiscal year on September 30th.