Last Friday, a subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform held a hearing entitled "H.R. 735 And Project Labor Agreements: Restoring Competition & Neutrality To Gov’t Construction Projects". The bill number identified in the hearing title, introduced earlier this year by Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK), is the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act (H.R. 735). This and a similar bill (S. 119) would largely invalidate President Obama’s Executive Order 13502.
That EO, one of four issued during the President’s first month in office in 2009, allows federal executive agencies to require contractors on large-scale government construction projects to enter into a project labor agreement as a condition of being awarded a contract. A “project labor agreement” (PLA) is a pre-hire collective-bargaining agreement – often involving multiple employers and multiple unions – designed to systemize labor relations at a construction site.
Witnesses at Friday’s hearing included Daniel Gordon, the Administrator of OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy; Susan Brita, Deputy Administrator of the GSA; Maurice Baskin, Esq., of Venable LLP; David Tuerck, Executive Director of the Beacon Hill Institute; Kirby Wu, of Wu & Associates; and Mike Kennedy, Esq., of the Associated General Contractors of America.
The prepared statements and submissions of these witnesses are linked above, and the video of the hearing is available at the Committee’s website.
More resources & information:
- "ABC Testifies on Problems with Project Labor Agreements Before House Committee" — PR Newswire
- "Republicans challenge Obama guidance on labor agreements in contracts" — GovExec.com
- Labor Relations Today’s "Project Labor Agreements" tag
- MLA Government Contracts Advisory, “President Obama Signs Executive Order Allowing Agencies to Require Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s) on Large Construction Projects,” Feb. 10, 2009.
- "Project Labor Agreements: A Better Deal For All" — The White House Middle Class Task Force