Herald: Project Labor Agreements are “Political Payback” for Labor

Yesterday the Boston Herald weighed in on the Beacon Hill Institute’s recent study on President Obama’s executive order encouraging the use of union-only project labor agreements on federal projects.

One of President Obama’s first acts in office was to issue an executive order reinstating such PLAs for all construction projects over $25 million. The comment period on that order (wheels grind slowly in Washington and sometimes that’s a good thing) ended Sept. 23.

And among those offering up an earful to the new administration was Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute, headed by David Tuerck, who has been studying the financial impact of PLAs for some time now.

The institute’s latest report on PLAs casts doubt on the only rationale for the agreements – to assure labor “peace.” We were certainly fed that bill of goods when the Big Dig was put under a PLA. What Tuerck found in examining the eight years of non-PLA construction during the Bush administration was that there were no instances of labor dispute that resulted in significant delays or cost escalations – repeat, none!

About Beacon Hill Institute

The Beacon Hill Institute engages in rigorous economic research and conducts educational programs for the purpose of producing and disseminating readable analyses of current public policy issues to voters, taxpayers, opinion leaders and policy makers.