Biden Administration Circulates New EO On PLAs For Federal Agency Review
According to news reports and ABC staff, the Biden administration has circulated a draft executive order to expand federal agencies’ use of project labor agreements. The order would update the Obama-era orderfrom 2009 that encouraged federal agencies to consider requiring project labor agreements when awarding contracts of at least $25 million on a case-by-case basis and permits state and local government recipients of federal money to mandate PLAs on public works construction projects. Thanks in part to ABC’s advocacy efforts, President Obama’s pro-PLA order and regulations rarely led to project labor agreements on federal construction projects (learn more here).
The executive order now under consideration would direct federal agencies to implement project labor agreements when awarding bids to building contractors but allow for exemptions in limited circumstances in which the anti-competitive schemes aren’t deemed practical. ABC is working with members of the U.S. House and Senate to prevent PLA language in legislative text and push back on this issue. ABC will provide additional updates on any information coming out of the White House concerning the timing and scope of a pro-PLA EO. As a reminder, ABC is prepared to execute legal, public relations, grassroots, legislative and other advocacy tactics to push back on proposed federal pro-PLA EO and legislative policies. ABC appreciates your support of our fight against government-mandated project labor agreements and efforts to educate contracting community stakeholders about this threat to fair and open competition for taxpayer-funded construction contracts.
The construction industry shut down for a few months last year during the pandemic — but was quickly deemed essential, allowing paused projects to continue. But in that short time, the sector lost more than 1 million workers. The industry has recouped nearly 80% of its workforce since then, but is still down 238,000 workers from pre-pandemic levels as of June, according to the Labor Department.
The Biden administration released an executive order last Friday on promoting competition in the American economy that continues the president’s efforts to push for passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.