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The Pros and Cons of Project Labor Agreements Part 2

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Project labor agreements (PLAs) control the quality, schedule, and workmanship of federally funded construction projects. They are intended to curb construction delays by outlining expectations before a project begins. In part one of this two-part series, we detailed the potential benefits of PLAs. Now, a Greensboro contractor lawyer at Cotney Construction Law will be going over the negative impact that a project labor agreement can have on contractors and the industry as a whole.

A Lack of Representation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 12.8 percent of employees in the construction industry were union members in 2018. The main criticism of PLAs is that they take away choice from contractors who have already chosen not to unionize. While the bidding process for government-funded projects must be fair, PLAs may discriminate against qualified contractors and workers that don’t wish to be subjected to union rules. If you feel that you have been discriminated against in the bidding process, our Greensboro construction law lawyers can aid you in protesting a bid.

Do They Really Save Money?

Another common criticism is that PLAs don’t actually save money in spite of the advanced planning and negotiations. Critics claim that the working conditions required by PLAs drastically raise project costs that are then absorbed by the project developer. In short, contractors feel that they are paying above-market prices for the same quality of work. This leads to increased construction costs on future projects.  

Other Downsides of Public Labor Agreements

Some other potential downsides of PLAs are as follows:

  • Double benefits: Companies that offer benefits directly to their employees may have to pay again for union benefits.
  • Extra fees: Workers are required to pay union fees.
  • Not everyone is invited: Non-union apprentices are prohibited under PLAs.
  • Too many are invited: More workers may be employed than are necessary.
  • Too much bloat: Unnecessary rules and antiquated work procedures could bog down a project.

PLAs come with an assortment of pros and cons that need to be carefully considered by the contractors bidding on government-funded projects that utilize them. No matter the project, you must do everything you can to ensure that your rights are protected. For this reason, you should immediately consult with a Greensboro contractor attorney at Cotney Construction Law if you wish to protest an unfairly awarded bid.

If you would like to speak with one of our Greensboro construction law lawyers, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.