Guinta union amendment goes down in tie

An amendment proposed by New Hampshire 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta that would have banned labor union-friendly Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) from federal construction projects failed in a tied vote on Friday. The narrow failure of the anti-PLA legislation was a blemish on what was otherwise a victorious day for House Republicans, who won a series of spending-slashing votes. Twenty-six Republicans voted against the Guinta amendment, producing a 210-210 tie, which House Speaker John Boehner neglected to break.

Some Democrats pointed to Boehner’s silence as an indication of a potential inter-party split between the new Congressional freshmen and more establishment GOP figures. Politico quotes an unnamed senior Democratic aid as saying of Boehner, “He had a chance to stick it to labor and missed.” Ending government-mandated PLAs was an issue that Guinta campaigned on, and one that has received some local attention as smaller, non-unionized construction firms fought for the right to compete with the unions to win the contract for the new Job Corps Center in Manchester.

Author: Staff Reporter

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  • Anonymous

    It would be nice if you could have elaborated some on this issue wiht Union VS, Non Union labor to build this facility in Manchester, There was a large cost difference, as I recall, and I thought they had shut down the project, or perhaps never released the contract. Has it been built, or is it still “on hold?”

    There was a recent article about the stimulus plan, pointing out that there was minimal to no competition for these “shovel ready” projects in NH. Road projects had at most 3 bidders.

    They went on to compare that with 11 different bidders for the widening of Route 93 project, resulting in a $17 million dollar difference on the LOW SIDE for what the State thought it would cost. This was attributed to MORE COMPETITIVE BIDDING by many more contractors for the contract. Why are some of us not surprised….

    Keep us the good work of keeping us informed with facts BEHIND the news!

    • Ted

      Bob, I agree, but the paper reported on this issue here so I think this is an effort to close the loop on the original story:

      Also, if you google “TheTruthAboutPLAs” and “Guinta” there is a blog that has some good information on the issue. It was interesting seeing the groups that support this amendment. I also enjoyed reading about the incident in 2009 when Guinta was mayor of Manchester when the DOL mandated a union agreement but a local contractor fought back against this special interest handout. The DOL still hasn’t built the project. The Administration would rather not build it and not create jobs than to build it without a PLA contract that would give their union patrons the federal construction contracts without competition from New Hampshire’s qualified open shop contractors. Standard corruption inside the beltway.

  • Ted

    I think it is a reach to report it was exceptional for Boehner not to vote. I don’t believe Boehner has voted on amendments. Should have fact-checked that one.

    If folks are looking for someone to blame for the failure of this amendment, it is the 26 GOP members that voted on the wrong side of the issue. This measure would have saved taxpayer dollars, increased competition, jobs and opportunities for small businesses that aren’t union in an industry suffering from an unemployment rate nearly double the national average across all industries.