Our dear comrade leader’s payback to unions

With only 15% of the construction industry workforce unionized, one has to wonder why our dear comrade leader would sign Executive Order 13502 which directs that all government construction projects (over $25M) go only to unionized contractors. (more here from the Washington Examiner) This will cost the taxpayers more and eliminate 85% of construction workers from government projects.

By eliminating the vast majority of potential bidders on federal construction projects, Obama guarantees two things. First, the projects will cost taxpayers more because union labor is always more expensive. And with mandated PLAs, the cost premium for union contractors will be even greater because fewer bidders always means less competition and higher prices. Second, by guaranteeing unions a bigger stream of federal contracts, Obama is making sure that Big Labor, already among the Democrats’ biggest sources of campaign cash, will have even more money to hand out for the 2010 and 2012 elections. You scratch our back with taxpayers dollars gleaned through PLA-based federal construction jobs, and we’ll scratch your back with campaign contributions. That’s the way it works in Obama’s business-as-usual Washington. It’s also known in some quarters as “the Chicago Way.”

“The Obama administration’s policy is a slap in the face to the vast majority of construction workers who have chosen not to unionize,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.”Qualified nonunion contractors whose workers have opted against unionization will be locked out from large-scale construction projects. The true purpose of so-called project labor agreements is simple: To impose unwanted union boss control on workers from the top down.”

Is this how government should be run? By fiat? What would the state-run media have said if Bush did something like this?


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