CHANTILLY, VA — The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) voiced its opposition to Executive Order 13202, which prohibits federal agencies from entering into and enforcing project labor agreements (PLAs). The organization stated that it is through a PLA that uniformity and standardization in the terms and conditions of employment may be obtained for the duration of a construction progress.

In November, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia permanently enjoined enforcement of Executive Order 13202. The Bush administration appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

SMACNA, along with its partners in the Mechanical-Electrical-Sheet Metal Alliance, received the consent of the parties to the dispute to file an amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) brief.

In its brief, the alliance made the following points:

  • A single PLA operates to cover all of the contractors, employees, and unions involved on a complex construction project with resulting uniformity on important issues including working hours, overtime, and holidays. Without a PLA, there may be a multitude of different collective bargaining agreements with varying conditions.

  • PLAs contain dispute resolution mechanisms and no-strike clauses prohibiting work stoppages.

  • To the extent that the executive order prohibits owner-developers and labor organizations from negotiating PLAs, it disrupts the economic balance between management and labor established under the National Labor Relations Act.

    The case is scheduled for oral argument on May 10.

    Publication date: 04/01/2002