July 26, 2017
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20515
Re: Construction Employers Urge NO Vote on Rooney #65 Amendment on Project Labor Agreements
On behalf of the Construction Employers of America and our seven member associations, we urge you to oppose Rep. Francis Rooney’s Amendment #65 to H.R. 3219, the “Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2018”. Congressman Rooney’s amendment would prohibit federal agencies from using funds to implement or enforce Executive Order 13502, which allows agencies the flexibility to use Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on a project-by-project basis.
Project Labor Agreements have proven a cost-effective tool for federal agencies to use to ensure high quality construction projects are completed on time and on budget. PLAs ensure that the federal government selects contractors that can meet all of the terms of the 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 congressional action to interfere with that 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 years. 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.
Construction Employers of America 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. 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.
Construction Employers of American once again urge you to vote against the Rooney Amendment #65 and support the federal government’s ability to use PLAs when advantageous. The Construction Employers of America, our member associations, and our 1.4 million employees nationwide appreciate your leadership. CEA members include FCA International, 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.