Fair and Open Competition Wins the Day with GE Project

The Merit Construction Alliance applauds the decision by General Electric to open bidding on the publicly funded portions of its new headquarters project to all qualified contractors. Previously, GE's general contractor had restricted bidding to only union shops, which locks out 85 percent of the construction workforce in Massachusetts that is merit shop.

MCA objected to the PLA and brought it to the attention of state officials. While GE and its construction team are private entities, they are entrusted with public dollars to renovate publicly owned buildings that will be leased back to GE. As such, the project is public construction in all other respects, and MCA took the position that a PLA would be unlawful. PLAs restrict projects to using only union labor, which denies access to the qualified and skilled men and women who choose work for merit shops and outside of the union system. PLAs also restrict competition and increase projects costs, but are typically used under political pressure and threats by unions to strike or otherwise disrupt projects.

20 Years of Success Promoting Fair & Open Competition

Over $1 Billion Saved

  • MCA advocacy steered more than $1 billion in construction projects from union-only to open and competitive bidding by qualified contractors - regardless of union affiliation.
  • With more qualified bidders, prices tend to be lower. This is critical especially on public projects funded by taxpayers, but also important to private project owners.
  • Countless other projects never contemplated restricting bidding due to MCA's effective advocacy.

Merit shops employ 82.5% of construction workers in Mass.

The Merit Construction Alliance gives voice to the vast majority of the construction industry: merit shop contractors and their employees. Merit shops employed 82.5% of the Massachusetts construction workforce in 2015, according to data compiled by unionstats.com. MCA represents merit shops in advocating for fair and open competition and an end to policies that favor special interest groups at the expense of our members and the taxpayers.