House Committee Passes Legislation Repealing PLA Preference in Federal Contracts

On March 28, 2017, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed the Fair and Open Competition Act (H.R. 1552/S. 622), which would increase fair and open competition on federal and federally funded construction projects. The bill, introduced by Representative Dennis Ross (R-FL), would repeal President Obama’s Executive Order 13502, which strongly encourages the use of government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal and federally-funded construction projects. PLAs weed out non-union electrical contractors by requiring job-specific union collective bargaining agreements. The Fair and Open Competition Act seeks to counteract potential special interest favoritism by prohibiting federal agencies and recipients of federal assistance from mandating PLAs and implementing PLA preferences.

This legislation would allow federal agencies to award contracts to businesses that voluntarily enter into PLAs before or after a fair and open competitive bidding process, a common industry practice permitted by the National Labor Relations Act. IEC joined 13 other organizations in letters to Congress in support of the legislation. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced the companion bill in the Senate. IEC is a part of a coalition of 13 other organizations in support of the bill.

IEC sent a letter in support of the legislation to the OGR Committee and joined 13 other organizations in letters to Congress