- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A new study with hard-hitting economic numbers must be considered before the D.C. Council passes the District Resident Employment and Trade Stimulus Act of 2010, a bill that requires union-favoring project labor agreements (PLAs) on local construction projects.

A new study from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. assessed whether government-mandated PLAs make economic sense in Washington’s current construction environment and concluded they are “poorly timed and counterproductive” for many reasons.

Because unions represent just 12 percent of District construction workers, union-favoring PLAs harm the majority of construction workers in the city, increase costs and exclude minority businesses. Residents will feel the impact of these special-interest schemes through a lack of open competition and denial of the benefits of competitive pricing.

The study also found no need for PLAs since previous federal construction projects in the city had not used them and had not suffered labor unrest.

With construction unemployment hovering at 25 percent, the D.C. Council shouldn’t invent new ways to kick an industry while it’s down.

JOHN MAGNOLIA

Owner, Magnolia Cos.

Washington

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