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Everyone should have a fair shot at the American dream. Unfortunately, exclusionary union-only project labor agreements run contrary to the free-enterprise system that makes this country great.
A union-only project labor agreement (PLA) forces all construction contractors to work exclusively with unions—without any vote by employees. Often required by government officials or other project owners, these union-only PLAs limit competition by shutting out more than 85 percent of the construction workforce that chooses not to belong to a union. Marketed by unions to project owners and the public as a management tool for construction, union-only PLAs have no proven benefits. Instead, union-only PLAs are a special interest set-aside program to funnel work to a minority of firms that employ construction union members.
Open competition means hiring the best people based on merit, regardless of union affiliation. Awarding construction projects based on merit inevitably results in more opportunity for a greater number of qualified people, while giving taxpayers quality construction at the best price.
Not only is open competition smarter, it’s the American way.