Project Labor Agreements

Project Labor Agreement (PLA)

A Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is a bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the employment terms and conditions for a specific construction project. PLAs typically require that employees hired for the project are referred through union hiring halls, that nonunion workers pay union dues for the length of the project, and that the contractor follow union rules on pensions, work conditions and dispute resolution.

ABC of Metro Washington supports fair, competitive and open bidding practices on public works projects. For that reason, we do not support PLAs as they discourage, or even prohibit, merit construction companies from working on these projects.

PLAs drive up the cost of construction by reducing competition and effectively excluding merit shop contractors and their skilled employees from building projects paid for by their own tax dollars.

Did you know…

PLAs discriminate against hiring local companies and employees.

90% of the Maryland and District of Columbia’s construction workforce chooses not to belong to a union. That said, when a PLA mandates that all workers be hired through a union, it eliminates the vast majority of the local workforce and hurts local businesses.

PLAs mean higher costs for taxpayers.

PLAs restrict the bidding process - which means less competition – leasing to higher costs. If the project is a local- or state-funded project, it’s being financed by local taxpayers. That means that YOU are paying for inflated, and unnecessary, construction costs.

PLAs are bad for the economy.

Costs increase an average of 15-20% on public projects with PLAs, which means instead of building 5 schools, we can only build 4. It also means our unemployment rate increases, spending goes down and tax revenue is wasted instead of being used for new programs.