SC Legislature Passes Ban on Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements

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The South Carolina House of Representatives gave final approval to a bill making government mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) that discriminate on the basis of labor affiliation illegal in South Carolina. The bill was passed by the Senate earlier this year and now awaits a signature from Governor Haley.  “Today is an important day for all South Carolina workers and taxpayers,” said Doug Carlson, President and CEO of ABC of the Carolinas. “This bill means that all businesses and all workers-union and nonunion alike-have a level playing field to compete for and build publically-funded construction projects and ensures that nobody is denied a fair shot at succeeding in South Carolina.”

The bill specifies that contractors may enter into a PLA only if doing so is voluntary and not mandated.  On taxpayer-funded construction projects, a mandate that requires or prohibits contractors to sign a union-favoring PLA or other agreement as a condition of performing work is illegal. In addition, any term discriminating on the basis of labor affiliation is illegal. The law requires the neutral, economical, nondiscriminatory and efficient procurement of construction services by the state.

“This legislation protects citizens with transparency in governmental contracting and defends taxpayers against costly special interest handouts that eliminate competition when public money is at stake,” Carlson explained.  “If signed into law, South Carolina will again be a national leader joining with sixteen other states that are promoting construction industry competitiveness, growth and opportunity.”  Read More.