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Stharp

Project Labor Agreements (PLA)

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I am trying to find out when/if a PLA is applicable. I understand that PLA's may be done prior to solicitation if a construction project is over $25m. We are having an internal debate if an 8(a) IDIQ construction services contract (value $70m) with no task orders that will exceed $25m, if PLA needs to be addressed. One contention is the IDIQ contract will be for $70m and PLA should be addressed. Another contention is the value of the IDIQ contract should have no bearing on it since the task orders are what funds the construction contracts and none of the task orders will be over $25m. Any assistance would be helpful.

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Have you read FAR Subpart 22.5, Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects, and your own agency's supplement?

In FAR 22.503, I note a generous use of words like "are encouraged to consider" and "may" and "if the agency decides" and so forth. Nothing in FAR 22.503 requires a project labor agreement, not even for large-scale construction projects over $25 million. The "shall" statements don't start until 22.504, which only applies after the agency has made a decision to use a project labor agreement.

What does your agency supplement say under FAR 22.503?

If you are the contracting officer, what is your opinion on requiring a project labor agreement? Will it advance the Government's interest in acahieving economy and efficiency, and so forth?

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A PLA is established for a specific project. Please also read the criteria for consideration, such as a area with a shortage of trade labor, extended period of project duration, etc.

If you are in an area that is not predominantly union labor, I would be very careful to require a PLA.

P.S. : Don't necessarily believe the language about economy and efficiency. It is a purely political requirement that has been added, deleted then added again to FAR by executive orders of the last three Chief Executives.

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