Fair and Open Competition on Taxpayer-Funded Federal and Federally Assisted Construction Projects

• Oppose President Biden’s Pro-PLA Executive Order 14063

Status

On Feb. 4, 2022, President Biden signed Executive Order 14063, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects. Once implemented following a rulemaking by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council that is expected to take months to complete, federal agencies will require that every prime contractor and subcontractor on a federal construction project of $35 million or more performed within the United States to sign a project labor agreement as a condition of winning a contract.

ABC slammed the order: “This anti-competitive and costly executive order rewards well-connected special interests at the expense of hardworking taxpayers and small businesses who benefit from fair and open competition on taxpayer-funded construction projects.” ABC also said that the new policy will exacerbate the construction industry’s skilled workforce shortage, needlessly increase construction costs and reduce opportunities for local contractors and skilled tradespeople.

An ABC-led coalition of associations and organizations representing tens of thousands of companies and millions of employees in the construction industry sent a Feb. 15 letter to the White House and a Feb. 28 letter to Congress highlighting concerns with President Biden’s efforts to require controversial government-mandated project labor agreements on federal and federally assisted construction contracts.

ABC is currently evaluating legal options to challenge the EO policy and individual PLAs on federal construction contracts.

 

Desired Outcome

Because 87.4% of the construction workforce does not belong to a union and the construction industry will need to attract nearly 650,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022 to meet the demand for labor, the Biden administration would be best served by promoting inclusive, win-win policies that welcome all of America’s construction industry to realize the full potential of federal taxpayer investments to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Doing so will increase accountability and competition and reduce waste and favoritism in the procurement of public works projects.

ABC has activated a grassroots campaign urging members of the House and Senate to co-sponsor the Fair and Open Competition Act (H.R. 1284/S. 403), which would prevent the federal government from mandating PLAs as a condition of winning federal or federally assisted construction contracts. ABC members are encouraged to visit the ABC Action Center and urge their members of Congress to support FOCA. Visit freeenterprisealliance.org/foca to learn more and take action.

In addition, visit BuildAmericaLocal.com, a coalition website where the public can learn more and communicate with their elected officials about government-mandated PLAs.

 

•  The Biden administration’s White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment

Status

On Feb. 7, the Biden administration’s White House Task Force On Worker Organizing And Empowerment issued its report on how to boost union membership in the federal government and public and private sectors. The report offers nearly 70 recommendations to promote pro-union policies and practices in the federal government, including the use of project labor agreements and other policies that would reduce competition and increase costs.

ABC stated, “The report’s recommendations to expand the use of anti-competitive and costly project labor agreements will increase infrastructure project costs by 12% to 20%, reduce competition from the best quality public works contractors and exacerbate the construction industry’s skilled labor shortage by discriminating against the nearly 9 out of 10 members of the construction workforce who choose to be union-free.”

Combined with President Biden’s Feb. 4 executive order requiring PLAs on federal contracts exceeding $35 million, it is clear that the Biden administration will not create opportunities for all construction workers, small businesses and experienced contractors who build America safely, on time and on budget.

 

Desired Outcome

ABC will monitor actions resulting from the report and will continue to urge members of Congress and the Biden administration to promote inclusive, win-win policies that will increase accountability and competition while reducing waste and favoritism in the procurement of public works projects. ABC wants everyone in the construction industry to have the opportunity to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. It will take the entire construction workforce to realize the full potential of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.