PA Chamber Responds to Gov. Shapiro’s New Labor Directive

On Friday, PA Chamber Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Alex Halper released the following statement in response to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s recent announcement of a new directive for the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for state projects.

PLAs typically require private companies to commit to using unionized labor as a prerequisite to be considered for contracts to work on a public construction project.

“We will carefully review the details of this directive and how it’s implemented, and we appreciate the governor stating that bidding processes will be open to both union and non-union contractors,” Halper said. “In our experience, however, PLAs have historically been used to force companies whose employees are not members of a union to either forgo bidding on a project or be forced to replace their own employees with a union. This type of mandate is unfair and it discriminates against a significant portion of private sector workers who opt to not be represented by a union.”

“The Commonwealth ought to consider bids for public projects based on merit and cost effectiveness,” Halper continued. “Project labor agreements, on the other hand, have been shown to raise projects costs with no discernible benefit to safety, or keeping projects on-time and on-budget.”


Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.