Dear Vice President-Elect Pence:
On behalf of the Construction Employers of America (CEA) and our six member associations, I would like to express our enthusiastic support for sustaining Executive Order 13502, which grants federal agencies the flexibility to consider Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on a project-by-project basis. As you know, PLAs have proven a cost-effective tool for federal agencies to ensure high quality construction projects are completed on-time and on budget. CEA supports the consideration and use of PLAs when deemed to be in the best economic interest of the project owner on behalf of the taxpayer.
Project Labor Agreements ensure that the federal government selects contractors that can meet every term contained in a complex federal construction agreement before a major construction project begins. This greatly reduces the potential for cost overruns. PLAs minimize the risk of labor disputes and promote on-schedule and on-budget completion of projects, reducing overall costs and minimizing risks to taxpayers. In short, PLAs are good for business, good for the government, and good for taxpayers. Unnecessary executive branch action to interfere with the current proprietary choice would promote regressive federal procurement policy.
Project Labor Agreements have been used by public and private owners and project managers to promote sound and effective labor policies and project productivity for many decades. PLAs are most often used in the private sector where corporate budget and scheduling decisions are highly scrutinized. They serve to promote efficiency, control costs, and ensure the timely completion of construction projects. CEA members have long worked with our private sector customers under PLAs that promote stability and efficiency in the construction of projects and further owners’ economic interests.
CEA has consistently supported the consideration and use of PLAs when deemed to be in the best economic interest of the project owner on behalf of the taxpayer. Banning the use of PLAs on large federal projects in past Presidential Administrations may have found favor in some circles, but did not ensure sound construction management. Economics, not ideology, should drive PLA decisions.
After considering the CEA’s extensive experience performing PLA construction for states and federal owners, we hope you will defend the federal government’s future ability to use Project Labor Agreements. The Construction Employers of America, our member associations, and our 15,170 employers and 1.4 million employees nationwide appreciate your leadership. CEA members include the International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, the National Electrical Contractors Association, the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, the Signatory Wall and Ceiling Contractors Alliance, and The Association of Union Constructors.