To the Editor:
PLAs should not be used by governments.
Taxpayer-funded contracts should be about the BEST work at the BEST price. Always.
These special interest handouts deny taxpayers the accountability they deserve from government contracts.
A union-only PLA is a contract negotiated between a government entity or a construction manager acting on behalf of the government entity that requires a contractor to hire workers through union hiring halls; hire apprentices through union apprenticeship programs; contribute into union pension and benefit plans; and obey the union's restrictive work rules.
Union-only PLAs discriminate against merit shop contractors.
Because of the unreasonable terms and conditions of typical PLAs, merit shop contractors are either barred or discouraged from bidding on PLA projects. The number of bidders on PLA projects is usually limited to only union contractors or to those few open shop contractors that are willing to become a signatory to a PLA.
Union-only PLAs hurt local workers. Proponents of PLAs claim union-only PLAs ensure the use of local workers. But PLA supporters fail to mention "local workers" doesn't include local non-union workers.