Associated Builders and Contractors voiced strong support for the introduction of H.R. 1449, the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act by Rep. John Sullivan, (R-OK) on March 17.
“ABC urges quick congressional passage of H.R. 1449, the Government Neutrality in Contracting Act,” said Kirk Pickerel, ABC president and CEO. “When adopted, this legislation will codify into law the open competition executive order signed by President George W. Bush on Feb. 17, 2001, ensuring that the federal government cannot require union-only project labor agreements on federal construction projects. Free enterprise and open competition is best for taxpayers and for the companies and workers in the U.S. construction industry.”
A union-only project labor agreement is a contract that requires that a federal project be awarded only to contractors and subcontractors who agree to recognize unions as the representatives of their employees on that job; use the union hiring hall to obtain workers; pay union wages and benefits; and obey the union’s work rules, job classifications and arbitration procedures.
“This legislation is vital, because union-only PLAs drive up costs for American taxpayers while discriminating against the more than four out of five U.S. construction workers who choose not to join a labor union,” said Pickerel. “All taxpayers should have the opportunity to compete fairly on any project funded by the federal government. … “H.R. 1449 ensures that union firms and non-union firms, unionized workers and the majority of workers who choose not join a labor union all have a fair and equal opportunity to participate on federally funded and federally assisted construction projects.”