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Forcing Union Payments on Taxpayer-Funded Projects

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that only 15.6 percent of America's private construction workforce belongs to a union. That means that PLAs discriminate against 84.6 percent of construction workers who could be working on federal construction projects if not for the heavy-handed, union-only PLAs.

Non-union workers who might work on PLA federal construction projects will be forced to pay into the union pension funds. A recent study released by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a former Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, found that union pension plans perform much more poorly than non-union retirement plans. This might well be why unions are so eager for new pension contributions from those who will never benefit - to cover for these failing plans.

Participants in federal and state-approved non-union apprenticeship programs cannot work on a job covered by a PLA, so young workers are left out in the cold - by presidential decree. This means craft professionals enrolled in all apprenticeship programs other than those offered by the union are excluded from work in their hometowns on federal construction projects paid for with tax dollars.

The construction industry as a whole has been hit hard by this current economic downturn. We need to put people back to work. Union-only PLA rules will keep non-union workers out of work. This is simply harmful public policy for everyone including those here in Virginia looking for construction jobs.

And at a time of deep recession when we are looking to the construction industry to help us dig out of the current climate, the cost of construction projects will rise under union-only PLAs.  Many studies show that PLAs increase the cost of construction 10-20 percent when compared to non-union controlled construction costs. These increased costs mean that taxpayers would feel the pain.

So the billions of dollars Congress and the President are pouring into so called "shovel ready" construction projects (roads, bridges, etc) will cost us up to 20% more than they should.  Our taxes are once again wasted.

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