Bill Would Guarantee Open Competition on Federal Construction

ABC Jan. 30 offered strong support for the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act (H.R. 436/S. 109), a measure introduced by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) that would ensure fair and open competition on federal and federally funded construction projects by prohibiting federal agencies from requiring contractors to execute project labor agreements (PLAs) as a condition of winning a contract. 

“ABC urges immediate congressional passage of this important legislation,” said Greg Hoberock, 2013 ABC national chairman and CEO of hth companies, Union, Mo. 

Issued in 2009, President Obama’s Executive Order 13502 promoted the use of government-mandated PLAs, which effectively denied qualified merit shop contractors and their skilled employees a fair chance to build billions of dollars’ worth of taxpayer-funded projects. In addition, studies indicate government-mandated PLAs increase the cost of construction projects in numerous markets between 12 percent and 18 percent compared to similar non-PLA projects.

“This bad public policy resulted in increased costs, delays and discrimination against the 86.8 percent of the U.S. private construction workforce that chooses not to join a labor union,” Hoberock said. “The Government Neutrality in Contracting Act will create more construction industry jobs and help taxpayers get the best possible construction project at the best possible price by increasing competition, reducing waste, and eliminating favoritism in the procurement of federal and federally assisted construction projects.”

ABC is encouraging members to call on their senators and representative to co-sponsor the bill, which will allow merit shop contractors and their skilled employees to have a fair chance at competing to rebuild America’s infrastructure. Take action now.

For more information about government-mandated PLAs, visit, and To help ABC continue to ensure fair and open competition on federal, state and local construction projects funded by taxpayer dollars, make a donation at