As organized labor heads into a potentially dismal negotiation season this year, unions received a big boost in February when President Barack Obama made good on his campaign promise to reverse the ban on project labor agreements for federally funded projects. As billions of dollars in federal work begins to filter out through the stimulus package, federal contracting agencies could opt to use project labor agreements on its major construction projects.
Under the order, agencies are given the option of using PLAs on projects valued at $25 million or more. The order reinstates many of the same provisions for use of PLAs that were in place under the Clinton administration. Project labor agreements on federal jobs were banned by the Bush administration in 2000.