A bill designed to prohibit the use of government mandated project labor agreements has been introduced in Congress by Indiana Senator Todd White.
What is being called the Fair and Open Competition Act would do away with those agreements, and in so doing, will “preserve open competition and Federal Government neutrality” as it pertains to federally funded construction projects.
The measure is now being reviewed in the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
In a statement, Kristen Swearingen, Associated Builders and Contractors vice-president, said the Fair and Open Competition Act would go far in “increasing competition, reducing construction costs, and eliminating favoritism in the procurement process of public works projects.”
The legislation has additionally won the support of the National Association of Home Builders and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, among other industry groups.
President Biden has not indicated his feelings on the Senate legislation.
But according to the publication Engineering News Record, “construction unions, employers and industry groups” have been contemplating a “resurgence and possible expansion of project labor agreements on federal projects” in a Biden administration.
Last month, during a meeting with a number of construction labor union officials, the President made no specific commitment on those agreements, but promised to further study the issue.
By Garry Boulard
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