On July 10, Barack “I owe these unions” Obama’s Office of Management and Budget issued a policy memorandum to all federal department and agency heads “encouraging” the use of costly project labor agreements (PLAs) that pushed unionized labor to the front of the line when hiring for federal construction projects. This memorandum was issued in coordination with Executive Order 13502 (available at http://bizy.be/rmASp) which further clarifies the union preference for projects over $25 million.
These union workers represent only about 16% of the construction labor force, yet after supplying millions of dollars to the Obama campaign and thousands of foot soldiers to execute the political ground game, they are now in the preferred position for the taxpayer financed government projects.
PLAs have been touted as lending more stability to the projects. Sometimes they workout, as they did decades ago with the Hoover Dam project. Sometimes they don’t. Boston’s Big Dig project is an example of a project at the mercy of the unions run amok. The project’s budget ballooned from $3 billion to over $15… with a “B” and went years over schedule.
The requirement may sound like it would be to the workers benefit but federal laws already require that they be paid the going rate for the area. Right-to-work states spare the workers the indignity of having to pay union dues, but not from working under a union contract. Workers in other states are not so fortunate. They are required to pay dues, even if they don’t join the union, to work on the jobs.
I guess we must remember the real purpose of unions in our century… and that is union dues. What a windfall for these Obama supporters. Workers forced to pay dues… some without even being members and getting any kind of benefit from the organization. It’s like a store owner getting paid and not having to supply any goods. Who says everyone is miserable under this administration?