In Michigan, a Judge in the U.S. District Court has placed a preliminary injunction on a state law that prohibits public sector Project Labor Agreements (PLAs).
This ruling halts a law that was previously passed by state legislature in what has been an ongoing, see-saw battle over the use of PLAs in the Great Lakes State. The November 15th ruling finds the new version of the law to be equally unconstitutional to previously challenged versions:
Michigan passed a law in 2011 that broadly prohibited PLAs on all public works projects, regardless whether the agreement was negotiated and implemented by a public entity or a private party. The Michigan BCTC and Genesee, Lapeer and Shiawasee BCTC, assisted by the Building and Construction Trades Department, challenged the law in federal court. The court held that Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act protects the right of construction workers to engage in concerted activity to attempt to convince public entities to use PLAs and to enter into PLAs with private contractors, and that the Michigan law was preempted because it interfered with these rights. That decision is currently on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.Since the law's original passage it has been amended by the state legislature to allow private contractors the use of their own labor agreements on public works projects. However, the law still prohibits public entities from entering, negotiating, or requiring Project Labor Agreements as part of bid specifications.