For the record, here is the letter we sent to the Globe.
To the Editor:
In his op-ed defending Project Labor Agreements (“Unions a stabilizing force,” March 22), Mark Erlich claims that that our first 2003 study of Massachusetts school building projects had to be “completely revised” following “a stinging critique of the data, methodology, and conclusions.”
The fact is that we updated that study when several additional months of investigation permitted us to double the number of schools in our sample. In the second study, we found that PLAs added 14% to the minimum project bid, rather than 17%, as in our original study.
Somehow, Mr. Erlich did not feel compelled to recognize that finding, or our finding in subsequent studies, that, for school building projects in Connecticut and New York, PLAs increased bids by 17% and 20%, respectively.
PLAs and the Prevailing Wage Law are aimed at protecting the union monopoly over the minority of construction workers who belong to unions. The effect of that monopoly is limit the number of construction projects that can be undertaken and to limit the number of construction workers who can be hired – a result that gives the lie to Mr. Erlich’s hypocritical expression of sympathy for blue-collar workers.
David G. Tuerck
Beacon Hill Institute