PLA Rule Almost Final

On November 30, the White House cleared a rule requiring project labor agreements (PLA) on federal construction projects valued at $35 million or more, marking the final step before the rule will go into effect.

On November 30, the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) cleared the project labor agreement (PLA) mandate for publication, which will require every federal prime contractor and subcontractor to engage in negotiation or agree to PLAs on federal construction projects valued at $35 million or more, with limited exceptions. AGC urged OIRA not to finalize this PLA mandate for a litany of reasons. AGC expects the rule to be published in the coming days. Rest assured, AGC of America will rigorously explore every possible avenue—including legal options—to push back against this mandate, as underscored in the association’s public comments.

This rule will repeal and replace the Obama-Biden Administration’s 2009 PLA E.O (E.O. 13502) once the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council issues a final regulation—thereby implementing this proposed rule and adding a federal contracts clause to applicable federal construction contracts—which is expected to take several months. AGC will offer its members resources to weigh in on the proposed rule and to contact their members of Congress. Through the association’s grassroots efforts, AGC members sent more than 8,500 communications against the proposal via formal comments and messages to their federally elected officials.  

AGC of America neither supports nor opposes contractors’ voluntary use of PLAs on government projects or elsewhere but strongly opposes any government mandate for contractors’ use of PLAs. AGC is committed to free and open competition for publicly funded work. AGC has long maintained that the federal government should not mandate PLAs. The use of government-mandated PLAs hurts union contractors, open-shop contractors, and fails to promote economy and efficiency in federal procurement. According to an AGC of America analysis of data obtained via a Construction Advocacy Fund-financed lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act, the Department of Defense federal construction agencies rejected PLA mandates 99.4 percent of the time even when encouraged to do so under the Obama-Biden Administration. 

For more information, contact Jordan Howard at [email protected] or (703) 837-5368.

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