Quinn Handout Makes Creating Jobs Harder

While Halt the Assault is primarily focused on the federal government’s assault on small business, it’s important to remember that the feds aren’t the only ones putting the hammer to the backbone of the American economy.

A prime example comes to us from the land of Lincoln, where Gov. Pat Quinn (D) recently issued an executive order re-affirming a 2003 order by disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) that essentially mandates the use of wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreements (PLAs) on state construction projects and authorizes the use of PLAs on federally funded work in Illinois.

Gov. Quinn seems more interested in rewarding special interest lobbyists than defending taxpayers. Numerous studies show that PLAs increase bid prices and overall construction costs. Additionally, they essentially block the 85 percent of the American construction workforce that chooses not to join a union from competing for projects funded by their own tax dollars.

This is an especially interesting order in the context of Illinois’ upcoming gubernatorial election. Gov. Quinn says this order is designed to protect local jobs, but we suspect the governor was focused on protecting only one job when he issued this order – his own.

The governor was not elected to the office for which he is now running for re-election, he ascended to office with Blagojevich’s resignation. Despite Illinois’ history of electing Democrats to statewide office, Gov. Quinn currently finds himself trailing Republican opponent Bill Brady. He must believe that he needs Big Labor’s sizable financial backing and manpower to win in November.

Although there is no good time for public officials to mandate PLAs, Gov. Quinn might have picked the worst possible time to issue this order. The construction industry is hurting in a way that few outside the industry realize. Nearly 25 percent of the industry’s workforce is currently unemployed. When most Americans go to work in the morning, one in four construction workers will be at home wondering how he will keep the house if he can’t find a job soon.

This order means that fewer of these people – and the small businesses that employ them – get to work on state projects. It is one more barrier stopping small businesses, which are primarily nonunion, from pulling America out of this recession.

Oh, and one extra thought for Gov. Quinn: maybe following in Blago’s footsteps isn’t the best path to re-election.

Visit www.thetruthaboutplas.com for more information about wasteful and discriminatory PLAs.

This entry was posted in Jobs in America, Project Labor Agreements and tagged , , ,

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