PLAs stop merit shops from bidding, and most minority- and women-owned construction companies are merit shop.
It's really that simple. And yet Massachusetts lawmakers continue to embrace PLAs, which means they embrace blocking minority- and women-owned construction firms from bidding.
They may not like it, but that's the hard truth.
The most recent PLA attempt failed on July 31. As the clock ran out on the legislative session, a $4 billion economic development failed to pass. Included in the Senate version of the bill was a mandate to use a PLA on the expansion of the Boston Convention Center.
MCA sent this letter to legislative conference committee members making the case for fair and open competition:
"Firms owned by minorities and women, and firms that employ minorities and women, will be denied a fair opportunity to bid. That is the undeniable, predictable result of the actions of the state Legislature in imposing a PLA on the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home project and now it stands to happen again. If the sincere goal is to increase participation by minorities and women in construction, it can only hope to be achieved by inviting participation by the entire construction industry rather than the small segment that is organized labor."