ABC Is Still Winning the Fight Against Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements in Federal Contracting
In 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13502, which encourages federal agencies to mandate project labor agreements (PLAs) on large-scale federal construction projects exceeding $25 million in total cost on a case-by-case basis. Many merit shop advocates of fair and open competition predicted it would lead to billions of dollars’ worth of federal construction contracts being awarded to unionized contractors and their all-union workforces—without true competition from qualified merit shop contractors.
Industry experts feared the executive order would result in taxpayers needlessly paying nearly 20 percent more per federal contract procured with a PLA requirement. Faced with finite building budgets, it would generate less building and create fewer jobs for the experienced men and women employed by merit shop contractors who deliver projects safely, on time and on budget every day to the federal government.
Stakeholders turned to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) to defend fair and open competition in federal contracting. ABC and the merit shop contracting community mobilized an aggressive campaign of effective public relations, political, legal and legislative strategies to restrict the devastating impact of anti-competitive and costly government-mandated PLAs on federal, state and local public works projects.
The campaign is producing impressive results. Efforts helped prevent PLA mandates and preferences on nearly 99 percent of federal contracts exceeding $25 million from FY2009-FY2013, freeing up a total of $64.78 billion worth of work from PLA requirements so all qualified firms can fairly compete to win these contracts.
From FY2009-FY2013, ABC member prime contractors won 61 percent of large-scale federal contracts subject to President Obama’s pro-PLA Executive Order 13502. That’s 577 contracts valued at a total of $40.31 billion won by ABC members.
Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A.
407 N. Howard Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606