Spitzer Statement On Project Labor Agreements

The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. yesterday blocked enforcement of an Executive Order by President Bush that would have sharply curtailed the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) in New York and other states.

This Executive Order would have prohibited PLAs on any construction project that received federal dollars - even those projects that receive only partial funding from the federal government. Since most major construction projects (and virtually all transportation infrastructure work) receive some level of federal funding, this Executive Order would have had dramatic consequences for organized labor in New York.

On behalf of the State of New York, my office filed a brief with the court noting that this that the Executive Order was an improper attempt by the Bush administration to rewrite federal labor law and impinge on state autonomy.

Our brief noted that PLAs have been used in New York to achieve the best work at the lowest possible price and to prevent fraud and corruption.

I am pleased that the court accepted our arguments and rejected what was clearly an anti-union policy of the of Bush Administration. My office will continue to monitor developments in this and other cases that could have a significant impact on PLAs in New York.