Mandating PLAs on Federal Construction Projects

President Biden on Feb. 4 issued an Executive Order requiring project labor agreements (PLAs) on large-scale federal construction projects.

“When big construction projects are completed efficiently and with the highest degree of professionalism, it’s good for the American taxpayer,” President Biden said at a Maryland event making the announcement. “That’s not hyperbole; that’s a fact.”

PLAs, which have been used for generations, are collective bargaining agreements between building trades unions and contractors. They govern terms and conditions of employment for all craft workers—union and nonunion—on a construction project. They protect taxpayers by eliminating costly delays due to labor conflicts or shortages of skilled workers.

As explained in the White House fact sheet on the Order, the PLA requirement would help the federal government get the best value for its taxpayer dollars by:

Alleviating coordination challenges on complex projects Raising standards for contractors

Reducing uncertainty in the contracting process