Despite Biden PLA order, non-union contractors can win federal projects

The order coincides with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which will infuse billions in long-awaited spending for infrastructure projects and upgrades across the country. The White House predicts the order will affect $262 billion in federal contracts and impact nearly 200,000 workers. A PLA is similar to a collective bargaining agreement between a union and its employer, but differs in that it applies to a single project and is agreed upon by all parties: general contractors, subcontractors and labor groups. “This executive order is not requiring you to be a union contractor, it’s requiring you basically on a one-off basis to agree to a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement,” said James Terry, partner at New York City construction law firm Zetlin & De Chiara. Contractors already must meet prevailing wage requirements for public works projects.

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