Shortly after our own Mark Hemingway drew attention to the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) to make stimulus projects more expensive and benefit labor unions, 19 Republican House members are asking why anyone would do this.
Nineteen GOP members of Congress sent a letter to Martha Johnson, the head of Obama's General Services Administration, asking why GSA is giving special treatment to unions on projects that involve rehabilitation of government buildings in D.C., instead of taking bids on a “lowest cost/highest value” basis.
The GSA's PLA preference is problematic. As Members of Congress, we have heard numerous complaints from the construction community that PLAs discourage competition from qualified contractors and their skilled employees, including small and minority and women-owned businesses. PLAs serve as a barrier to new jobs for more than 85 percent of the U.S. construction workforce — those who ahve decided not to join a labor union — and several studies found that PLAs increase the cost of construction by as much as 18 percent.
I wouldn't expect any action from the administration that spent billions and suspended the rule of law in order to save the UAW from extinction. But this waste of money still needs to be exposed.