shapiro labor agreements

Governor Shapiro’s ‘Project Labor Agreements’ Nothing More Than Another Campaign Donor Handout

Harrisburg, Pa., March 27, 2024 — Today, Gov. Josh Shapiro announced an executive order to require project labor agreements (PLAs) for government projects—a move that, once again, prioritizes campaign donors over Pennsylvania’s workers and taxpayers. PLAs, or pre-hire collective bargaining agreements, mandate the use of union-only labor. They discriminate against merit shop contractors and other non-union businesses.

More than 80 percent of Pennsylvania’s construction industry workers belong to non-union shops. Since PLAs exclude local non-union workers, they impose a system of favoritism within the bidding process for government contracts, discouraging local hiring and job creation. Worse, PLAs significantly increase construction project costs—expenses passed on to the taxpayer.

In recent years, Pennsylvania courts have struck down the use of PLAs for violating competitive bidding laws.

Commonwealth Foundation Director of Legislative Strategy Kevin Kane issued the following statement in response:

“Here we go again. Governor Shapiro is cutting inside deals for his biggest campaign donors and prioritizing the special interests that put him in office over hard-working taxpayers. Pennsylvanians want their leaders in Harrisburg to use taxpayer resources efficiently and fairly—not spend them on sweetheart deals for political pals.

“Demanding taxpayers subsidize a select group of contractors is bad for business and discriminates against most blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania.

“The vast majority of construction workers in our state—over 80 percent—work in merit shops. But today, Shapiro effectively told those people: ‘If you aren’t part of an organization that funded my campaign, you need not apply.’ The governor is picking winners and losers and apparently has decided that his special interest donors are more important than working people and the businesses that employ them.

“Shapiro is forcing the government to bring overpriced, out-of-town workers to take local jobs and spend more taxpayer money. Instead of ‘getting stuff done,’ the governor is, once again, ‘giving shady deals.’”

Visit to view more shady behavior Shapiro has engaged in during his tenure in office.


The Commonwealth Foundation turns free-market ideas into public policies, fostering prosperity for all Pennsylvanians.