In a vote today, the House of Representatives will determine whether federal construction projects will be open to competitive bidding. In 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13502 declaring that to win a federal construction project costing over $25 million, the contractor must sign a project labor agreement. Project labor agreements eliminate competition and discriminate against non-union workers. In the current economic state, the federal government cannot afford to mandate any contract which increases costs and furthers the burden on the taxpayer.
Section 415 of H.R, 2055 (The Military Construction (MilCon) and Veterans Affairs (VA) and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012) abolishes the taxpayer waste of mandating project labor agreements. Not only are PLAs costly, they cost 10 percent to 20 percent more than merit-based contractors. PLAs enable the federal government to alter business behavior and strip workers of their right to freedom of association.