ABC issued a press release calling attention to a new report that highlights the negative economic impact of controversial government-mandated project labor agreements on nonunion construction workers, who comprise 87.3% of the construction industry workforce. The study found that the limited number of nonunion craft professionals permitted to work on construction projects subject to a government-mandated PLA suffer an estimated 34% reduction in wages and benefits. In addition, the report found that PLA mandates unnecessarily increase nonunion contractors’ wage and benefits costs by an estimated 35% and expose firms to the risk of costly multiemployer pension plan liability.
“These additional costs make nonunion contractors less competitive with respect to price compared to firms without such duplicative benefits costs, which is likely to discourage nonunion contractors from competing for taxpayer-funded construction contracts,” according to the study.
The report’s publication comes as Congress and the White House deliberate passage of historic infrastructure spending legislation and the Biden administration has enacted new policies encouraging government-mandated PLAs on federally assisted construction projects and is considering additional executive actions expanding the use of government-mandated PLAs on federal construction projects funded by hardworking taxpayers.
“If PLAs were imposed on a significant percentage of federal construction work, hundreds of millions of dollars of compensation would be taken from nonunion workers and distributed to union pension funds and union benefits programs, which do not benefit nonunion workers,” wrote John McGowan, retired professor of accounting at Saint Louis University, who authored the study, Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements Result in Lost and Stolen Wages for Employees and Excessive Costs and Liability Exposure for Employers.