Washington, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) today came out in strong support of the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act (S. 90), a measure to codify into law Executive Order 13202 barring federal agencies from requiring union-only project labor agreements on federal construction projects. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) introduced the bill.
“ABC urges quick congressional passage of this important legislation,” said Jerry Gorski, 2009 ABC national chairman and president of Gorski Engineering, Inc., Collegeville, Pa. “The Government Neutrality in Contracting Act ensures that all contractors and all workers – both union and merit shop – have a fair and equal opportunity to participate on federally funded and federally assisted construction projects.”
A union-only project labor agreement (PLA) is a contract that requires a federal project to be awarded only to contractors and subcontractors that agree to recognize unions as the representatives of their employees on that job; use the union hiring hall to obtain workers; pay union wages and benefits; and obey the union’s restrictive work rules, job classifications and arbitration procedures.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership in the U.S. construction industry stood at 13.9 percent in 2007,” said Gorski. “Union-only PLAs drive up costs for American taxpayers while unfairly discriminating against the 86.1 percent of U.S. construction workers who choose not to join a labor union. All taxpayers should have the opportunity to compete fairly on any project funded by the federal government.”
The Government Neutrality in Contracting Act now awaits action in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
About Associated Builders and Contractors
ABC is a national trade association representing 25,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms in 79 chapters across the United States. For more information, visit the ABC website at www.abc.org.