CHICAGO - Blogger Warner Todd Huston explains the problems with PLAs (Project Labor Agreements) and the tin ears Republican Congressman have concerning them. They either don't understand the domination PLAs give unions, or the support they've received from pro-union backers has bought votes that don't fit several Illinois GOP congressmen's political image. Huston explains:
Unions love PLAs because the rule forces government construction projects to be conducted under union rules, to pay union pay scales to workers as well as pension payments to the union plans, and requires all work to be controlled by union bosses even if the companies hired to do the work are non-union. With PLAs unions feel they have the best of both worlds because they can still benefit from free government money even when they aren't hired to do the work. In short, PLAs are a sop to unions.
The main problem with PLAs is that they drive up the costs of government building contracts from word go. This costs us all money and in this era when we need to be cutting back the skyrocketing costs of government adding rules that drive up costs before the first foundation is dug is madness. Worse it is unfair to the largest number of construction companies that aren't union members as they are forced as a condition of getting the work to pay unions thousands out of their pockets even as they'll never benefit from union pensions or other programs.