LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A proposed federal rule to require collective bargaining in federal construction projects is facing opposition from many state leaders including Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Hutchinson joined 18 governors on Monday in signing a letter opposing a Biden administration executive order requiring Project Labor Agreements on federal construction projects over $35 million.

The proposed rule would require a labor agreement with the prime contractor to also apply to subcontractors.

A PLA would block competition, the governors claimed. The Biden administration executive order was signed in August and has a comment period that ends Tuesday.  

Hutchinson said his opposition did not mean he opposed unions, but rather federal involvement could slow projects.  

“Labor unions have played an important role in our nation’s history, but the government’s role in business is to provide an avenue for success and not a roadblock.” Hutchinson said. “I’m honored to have the support of 18 fellow governors from all corners of our nation as we seek to oppose this rule and support fairness for our states.”

The order would not become a rule until all comments, including the letter signed by governors, are reviewed.