South Carolina Becomes 17th State to Ban Government-Mandated PLAs

ABC celebrated a victory June 10 after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) signed a bill (S.438) into law that will prohibit state government entities from requiring contractors to sign a project labor agreement (PLA) with labor unions as a condition of performing work on public construction projects.

“There is no question that construction labor union bosses in other states are using these types of mandates to steer public construction projects to contractors who are willing to accept their onerous demands and this new law will protect South Carolina taxpayers from this kind of abuse,” said ABC Carolinas Chapter President & CEO Doug Carlson.

PLA and other union-only mandates have been found to increase construction costs by an average of 12 percent to18 percent—and more in some cases.

“The new law ensures taxpayers will get the best possible construction project at the best possible price by increasing competition, reducing waste and eliminating special interest handouts to labor bosses,” said ABC Vice President of Federal Affairs Geoff Burr.

South Carolina is the 17th state to take action to protect taxpayers and the vast majority of the construction industry workforce from wasteful and discriminatory PLA mandates. It’s the 13th state to enact reform since President Obama issued Executive Order 13502 in February 2009. The executive order encourages federal agencies to require PLAs on federal construction projects costing more than $25 million and allows state and local governments to require PLAs on federally assisted projects.

For more information about government-mandated PLAs, visit, and