Gov. Nathan Deal signed S.B. 179, which prohibits government entities from requiring contractors to sign a project labor agreement (PLA) or other agreements with labor unions as a condition of performing work on public construction projects. This new law will ensure that taxpayers get the best construction at the best price. PLA and other union-only mandates have been found to increase construction costs by an average of 12-18 percent—and much more in some cases.
It is likely that this new statute will ensure fair and open competition for the new Atlanta Falcons’ $950 million stadium project. Supporters of this bill believe that it will prevent the Georgia World Congress Center from requiring contractors to sign a PLA as a condition of performing work on the stadium project, which will give the 96 percent of Georgia’s private construction workforce that chooses not to join a union the opportunity to compete on a level playing field for work on this critical project.
Georgia is the 16th state to take action to protect taxpayers and the vast majority of the construction industry workforce from wasteful and discriminatory PLA mandates, and the 12th enact their reform since President Obama issued Executive Order 13502, which encouraged federal agencies to require PLAs on federal construction projects costing more than $25 million.