Contractor group files suit against Carter County Project Labor Agreement

Associated General Contractors of Kentucky filed suit Sept. 1 in Franklin Circuit Court to stop the Carter County School District from awarding bids under a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Tri-State Building and Construction Trades Council for construction of Tygart Creek Elementary School.

The PLA:
Reduces competition by imposing union rules on contractors who work on the project
Requires workers to be union members and pay dues
Requires contractors to hire workers from local union halls
Forces contractors to follow union work rules
Mandates that contractors pay union wages and benefits

The following excerpt gives an example of how competition is controlled by the PLA:

Tygart Elementary School
Prebid Meeting Minutes August 17, 2010
1. Introduction of Project Team Attendees list is attached to the Prebid Meeting Minutes
2. Project Overview and Description
3. Discussion of PLA (Project Labor Agreement)
Review wage rate requirements per the terms of the PLA. All bidders a [sic] advised to review and compare the published prevailing wage rates issued by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet and also to review the prevailing wage rates applicable to the PLA included with addendum #1. All contractors are advised that the higher of the two wage rates shall take precedent for any and all crafts.

The PLA requires contractors to use the HIGHER of the Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s published prevailing wage rates or the applicable PLA rates. The contractors do not have the option of using their normal wage rates or practices.

This PLA for the Tygart school is another example of big government deciding how to spend our tax dollars with no regard for free and open entrepreneurial competition, best practices or cost.

You wouldn’t know Kentucky is strapped for money to take care of its schools when it comes to giving unions what they couldn’t win in open competition.

This is a very important lawsuit. More to follow.


  1. It is about time someone challenged giving unions preferential treatment and wasting taxpayer money. PLAs and prevailing wage requirements on construction projects are nothing but paybacks to unions for political contributions and political harassment.