Union-Only PLAs Discriminate PDF Print E-mail
Minority and Women's Business Groups Oppose Discriminatory Union-only PLAs

Union-only project labor agreements discriminate against women and minority workers in the construction industry who have traditionally been underrepresented in unions and are employed largely by small, open-shop companies. PLAs serve as another barrier for small businesses, including women- and miniority-owned companies, which create the bulk of our nation's jobs and deserve opportunities to perform work on public and private projects.


"PLAs amount to de facto segregation … African-American workers are significantly underrepresented in all crafts of construction union shops … this problem has been persistent during past decades and there appears to be no type of improvement coming … PLAs are anti-free-market, non-competitive, and, most of all, discriminatory." — National Black Chamber of Commerce


"WCOE opposed federally mandated project labor agreements … PLAs will disproportionately impact small business, particularly those owned by women and minorities." — Women Construction Owners & Executives, USA


"Bay Area Black Contractors Association have been a strong advocate for merit shops in the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area and we are opposed to project labor agreements." — Bay Area Black Contractors Association


"We believe union-only PLAs make it more difficult for minority-owned contractors to compete … they effectively work against the goals of increasing the number of projects awarded to minority-owned businesses by placing roadblocks in our way." — Latin Builders Association, Inc.


"[PLAs] are bad for business, especially small businesses which constitute most of our membership. They impose undue restrictions on our ability to compete, increase the cost of doing business, reduce employee benefits, and interfere with the free negotiation process between employee and employer. They are patently unfair to small businesses who do not have the resources to comply with yet another government mandate." — United States Pan-Asian-American Chamber of Commerce


"The ultimate effect of the San Francisco Airport PLA is clear … once a PLA was implemented, minority business enterprise prime contract participation dropped 91.9 percent and subcontract participation dropped 34.4 percent. This PLA has been a disaster for minority-owned businesses …" — American Asian Contractors Association


"[Union-only PLAs] are not good business for small business in general, and particularly for women and minorities in business … the impact on women and minorities trying to compete in federal procurement would be devastating." — National Association of Women Business Owners