AGC Sues to Block Biden Administration’s Unlawful PLA Mandate
On January 10, the Associated General Contractors of America and its Louisiana AGC chapter filed suit in federal court to block the Biden Administration’s unlawful effort to mandate project labor agreements (PLAs) on major federal construction projects. Unless stopped, the government-mandated PLA final rule will require every federal prime contractor and subcontractor to engage in negotiation or agree to PLAs on federal construction projects valued at $35 million or more, with limited exceptions, beginning on new contract solicitations issued on or after January 22.
The challenged regulations implement Pres. Biden’s Executive Order 14063. For details about the final rule, see AGC Memo: What Federal Contractors Should Know About the New PLA Mandate. for details on the PLA final rule)
Among the arguments made in the lawsuit, AGC maintains that President Biden lacks the legal and constitutional authority to impose such sweeping labor policies that undermine current labor agreements for union firms and discriminate against open-shop contractors. The complaint also notes that the regulation contradicts, among other things, the Procurement Act, the Competition in Contracting Act, and the National Labor Relations Act.
AGC of America submitted extensive comments opposing the rule when it was first proposed in 2022. Through the association’s grassroots efforts, AGC members sent more than 8,500 communications against the proposal via formal comments and messages to their federally elected officials.
The association’s actions are consistent with AGC of America’s longstanding policy opposing government mandates for contractors’ use of PLAs. The association – which neither supports nor opposes contractors’ voluntary use of PLAs on government or private projects – is committed to free and open competition for publicly funded work. Government PLA mandates typically hurt union contractors and open-shop contractors, and hinder economy and efficiency in federal procurement.
Furthermore, AGC of America analysis of data obtained via a Construction Advocacy Fund-financed lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act, shows that key contracting agencies also disfavor PLAs. The data show that Department of Defense federal construction agencies chose not to adopt a PLA mandates 99.4 percent of the time even when encouraged to adopt mandates under an executive order issued by Pres. Obama.
For more information, contact Jordan Howard at Jordan.Howard@agc.org or (703) 837-5368.