Open Competition

Put Freedom to Work - Support Open Competition for All Construction Jobs

Life.  Liberty.  And the pursuit of open competition. 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 P.L.As 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 P.L.As have no proven benefits.  Instead, union-only P.L.As 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.

Equal opportunity for all.
The opportunity to compete for jobs is supposed to be open to all.  But Big Labor makes big promises - like political support or strike protection = to convince government officials to use union-only project labor agreements.  These quid pro quo deals shut out the majority of construction workers.

Minorities and women receive a double dose of discrimination under union-only P.L.As.  Bother are significantly underrepresented in union shops.  Moreover, union-only agreements make it extremely difficult for small, minority- and women-owned businesses to compete with unionized big businesses.

Regardless of labor union affiliation, all qualified contractors and their employees who have the necessary training and skills should have an equal opportunity to compete for public construction projects.

Checks and balances.
When government writes a check for the increased cost of union-only project labor agreements, taxpayers are stuck paying the balance.  While these union-only agreements cost nonunion workers a job, they also end up costing taxpayers a lot more.

Union-only P.L.As are exclusive and anti-competitive.  Reducing the number of potential bidders is certain to increase the cost of construction and reduce the opportunity for local contractors and workers.  Studies show that union-only agreements drive up costs without improving quality.

Maximizing the pool of potential bidders and using open competition create savings and deliver quality construction for taxpayers.

Put freedom to work
With open competition, contractors and employees can deliver high-quality construction at the best price through innovation, flexibility and efficiency.  And taxpayers can enjoy the results of strong competition.

Put freedom to work. Support Open Competition for All Construction Jobs.  Say "No" to Union-Only Project Labor Agreements.