AGC Lawsuit Against Gov’t-Mandated PLAs
Sunday, January 14, 2024
Section: Advocacy News

AGC of America files lawsuit to block the Biden Administration’s unlawful regulation mandating project labor agreements on federal construction projects.

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 (see AGC Memo for details on the PLA final rule). 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. 

Among its legal arguments, 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.

AGC of America neither supports nor opposes contractors’ voluntary use of PLAs on government projects or elsewhere but strongly opposes any government mandate for contractors’ use of PLAs. AGC is committed to free and open competition for publicly funded work. 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.

AGC has long maintained that the federal government should not mandate PLAs. The use of government-mandated PLAs hurts union contractorsopen-shop contractors, and fails to promote economy and efficiency in federal procurement. 

According to an AGC of America analysis of data obtained via a Construction Advocacy Fund-financed lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act, the Department of Defense federal construction agencies rejected PLA mandates 99.4 percent of the time even when encouraged to do so under the Obama-Biden Administration.