BOSTON, MA –Project Labor Agreements (PLAs), which effectively limit public projects to union contractors, have increased construction costs when applied to school building projects in Ohio, according to a new study released today by the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI).
There are two costs to consider in assessing the effects of PLAs – the actual construction costs and the winning bids. BHI found that PLAs increase actual construction costs by $23.12 (or 13.12%) per square foot. They increase the winning bids by $25.06 (or 15.55%) per square foot.
PLAs are collective bargaining agreements between public and private entities and construction unions that require the hiring of all workers, including non-union workers, through union halls. They require that all workers follow union rules for the project. In exchange for the builder’s willingness to enter into a PLA, unions on the project pledge not to strike or to pursue any other job actions. Read more here.