Earlier this month, a judge in Albany, New York, invalidated a government mandated Project Labor Agreement (PLA), finding that the New York Department of Transportation failed to demonstrate that the PLA advanced the interests of the state’s competitive bidding statutes. A copy of the opinion can be found here.
The Court’s decision took the Department of Transportation (“DoT”) to task, ultimately finding that the DoT failed to support its decision to use a PLA. Apparently, the DoT commissioned a due diligence study that concluded that a PLA would be of some benefit to the public owner and taxpayers of New York. But, the first due diligence study also noted that because there had been very few work stoppages over the last three years, a PLA was not recommended for the project.
Instead of recommending a PLA, the due diligence study recommended that the DoT meet with local labor leaders to quantify and monetize all savings so that clear financial evidence for or against using a PLA on the project could be presented. The DoT ignored study’s recommendation and simply started negotiating a PLA with the local labor leaders. The Court refused to allow the DoT to use a PLA on the project and ordered that the project be rebid without a PLA.
This is a tremendous win for ABC member, Lancaster Development, Inc., and an excellent example of how a contractor may challenge governmental decisions to use a PLA on a project.