Project Labor Agreements (PLAs)

Date: March 17, 2010

End Project Labor Agreements

In April 2010, the president signed an executive order requiring all government contracts worth over $25 million to adhere to project labor agreements (PLAs), or accords specifying that the contractor must hire only workers represented by the union for the defined job.

This will not only deny many opportunities for small businesses to bid for jobs, but will unnecessarily increase federal spending and raise the deficit. NFIB believes that PLAs are costly, unfair and should be eliminated.

NFIB Member Testifies Before Congress on How Project Labor Agreements Hurt Small Business

John Ennis, Jr. of Ennis Electric, located in Manassas, Va., is an electrical contractor with over 30 years of experience in both new and renovation construction of heavy commercial, institutional and industrial projects.

Ennis recently testified in a hearing entitled, “Regulatory Impediments to Job Creation: The Cost of Doing Business in the Construction Industry,” before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Regulation, Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending.

Ennis testified before Congress about PLAs and their effect on his business.

 “The economic climate for small businesses is still very tough, especially in the construction industry,” said Ennis. “The national unemployment rate in the construction industry hovers around 20%, and we see few signs of things improving… For small-business owners like me, it is the increased regulations and discriminatory hiring tactics like PLAs that make it impossible to have confidence to hire, make capital investments and grow my company. Congress must put a stop to practices that prevent small businesses from growing. Eliminating discriminatory PLAs is a good place to start.”

Read Mr. Ennis' full testimony here.



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