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Opinion: Richard Markuson

Thursday, February 08, 2018





Richard Markuson

Industry Group Seeks PLA Ban
What do American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), 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 Government Contractors (NAGC), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have in common? They all believe that PLAs "interfere with existing union collective bargaining agreements" and "unfairly discourage competition from quality nonunion contractors and their employees, who comprise 86 percent of the U.S. private construction industry."
 
They recently wrote President Donald J. Trump to ask he rescind the Obama-era executive order 13502 that encourages federal agencies to use PLAs on any federal or federally assisted project of $25 million or more. The coalition wrote that PLAs prevent contractors from being able to compete for work and that, in a time of construction growth and a limited workforce, the holdover policy did not make sense. Association members suggested the president replace the executive order with two other orders that would ban PLAs on federal or federally funded projects.
 
Jared Bernstein who was the Chief Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden quoted Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis in his treatise on EO 13502, 

Project Labor Agreements are a win-win; they benefit businesses, workers, and taxpayers. I've seen the track record in cities like Los Angeles--high quality work on projects done on time, on budget, and good job and training opportunities that strengthen our communities.

In true evidence of the Peter Principle--Solis is the  1st District Supervisor in Los Angeles. Like many of you, I am not sitting by the phone (okay, in front of my computer) awaiting a recession of 13502.
 
Some of my most rapt readers (I know who you two are) may recall that I am not the most ardent of DJT supporters and have commented that one of his first meetings was with "leaders of several construction and building trade unions." More

That is not to say that with an approval rating that may dip to single digits and end the Republican control of the House (Yay Speaker Pelosi!) and Senate (Chuckie) DJT will look for support where ever he can find it. If you are so inclined--I encourage you to call Marc Short--Director of Legislative Affairs for President Trump (202) 456-1329 and explain why the President should rescind 13502 and embrace Fair and Open Competition (please don't mention my name--I promised I would not publish his number!)