Republican Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday signed an anti-union bill that prohibits government entities from requiring contractors to sign a project labor agreement (PLA) or other agreements with labor unions as a condition for performing work on public construction projects.
The bill, which passed the legislature overwhelmingly, was pushed by the building industry, ABC Carolinas. South Carolina Nikki Haley signed a similar bill in June and North Carolina is the 18th state to sign the bill.
"This new law will ensure that public construction contracts will be awarded to firms that provide taxpayers the best construction at the best price,'' said Doug Carlson, the ABC Carolinas Chapter President and CEO. "There is no question that construction labor union bosses in other states are using these types of mandates to steer public construction projects to contractors who are willing to accept their onerous demands and this new law will protect North Carolina fro this kind of abuse.''
The construction industry has been pushing for the legislation since Democratic President Barack Obama signed an executive order shortly after taking office which encourages federal agencies to require PLAs on federal construction projects exceeding $25 million.
Jared Berstein, an Obama administration economist said at the time, that PLAs "can provide structure and stability to large construction projects. PLAs also help ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing workplace safety and health, equal employment opportunity and labor and employment standards.''
Obama signed the executive order on the recommendations of his Middle-Class Task Force.
PLA's have been around since the 1930's, but President George W. Bush ordered them discontinued.
The industry maintains the order was designed to steer federal contracts to union construction contractors, which can artificially drive up costs.
The measure passed the House 108-2 and passed the Senate 44-2.
"We offer our thanks to Gov. McCrory, our dedicated team of bill sponsors, and the entire legislature for standing up for North Carolina's construction industry,'' Carlson said.