Letter to the House on Project Labor Agreements
May 31, 2012
On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we urge your support for an amendment to be offered by Representative Grimm to the Military Construction-VA appropriations bill that would allow the Department of Defense to use project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal construction projects. Language in the underlying bill currently bars agencies from requiring companies bidding for construction contracts to accept project labor agreements. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 112th Congress.
Project labor agreements ensure that every employee has access to a fair wage, health care, and pension benefits so that he or she can support a family. The value of such agreements for the workers, their families, and the community is evident. The influx of family-supporting wages alleviates the burden on public assistance programs, increases the tax base, and creates a boost to the local economy.
Project labor agreements also help keep jobs in a community, rather than bringing in outside companies to complete local projects. These local workers then spend their wages at other local businesses.
During these difficult economic times, as millions of Americans continue to struggle, Congress should be looking for ways to support workers, rather than undercutting successful programs, like project labor agreements, that help families survive and thrive. We urge your support for the Grimm amendment to protect project labor agreements.
Director, Center for Advocacy
Director of Government Relations