Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements Would Keep Three-Quarters of Firms from Bidding on New Federal Projects, Survey Finds


Nearly three-quarters of federal contractors report they will stop bidding on federal projects if the Biden administration were to follow through on its plans to impose government-mandated project labor agreements according to the results of a survey of firms released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. The survey also found that the federal mandate will make it harder for contractors to partner with small, veteran, minority or disabled-owned firms.

In addition to limiting competition for federal projects, the survey found that imposing project labor agreements will make it harder for firms to find enough workers to hire. Nearly 40 percent of the survey respondents operate under a collective bargaining agreement. Of these respondents, 83 percent said there are not enough union workers to guarantee completion of the project on time and on budget. Among firms that have worked on a project that involved a government-mandated project labor agreement, 67 percent said the agreement made it harder to find workers to hire.

“Having fewer firms competing for federal projects undermines the President’s claim that his executive order will make federal construction more efficient and cost-effective,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Worse, these project labor agreements will hurt minority, disadvantaged and veteran-owned businesses at a time when many of them are still recovering from the economic impacts of the pandemic.”

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