( – promoted by lowkell)
Scapegoating unions. Attacking the workers they represent. This is Ken Cuccinelli’s plan to score political points and it's par for the course for him. But let's not lose sight of the proven benefits of project labor agreements and the well trained workers who proudly (and safely) build our infrastructure.
Background, facts, and local case studies on Project Labor Agreements:
A project labor agreement is a market-based tool that sets the rules and expectations for management and workers and as a result, projects with PLAs come in on-time and on-budget.
• Promote local workers on local projects
• Make sure workers are trained properly and have all the necessary certifications
• Help ensure projects are done on time and on budget, as evidenced on Phase I of Dulles Rail
• Provide exemptions for subcontractors, do not require them to use the PLA
• Promote Minority and WMB Participation on projects with set-asides
• Provide critical healthcare benefits to the workers
• Serve as a taxpayer protection and create accountability on megaprojects where millions of dollars are at stake
• Prevent megaproject DISASTERS such as the Springfield Interchange which DID NOT USE A PLA and had massive cost overruns and deaths on the project
• Anger many anti-union Contractor Groups and their Chamber of Commerce allies because they don’t allow the companies to set the rules and make money (taxpayer and toll road user money) off of mistakes and delays
Using a PLA DOES NOT
• Require the use of union-only labor, or give favoritism to union contractors. PLAs are open to ALL contractors.
• Require workers on the project to join the union (protected by Virginia’s “Right-to-Work” law), even though they will receive all the benefits that the union members get, including healthcare and retirement benefits
• Increase the costs of a project. The point of the PLA is to lock in and contain costs after the final price tag is settled. Contracts are still awarded to the lowest bidder.
• “Limit competition” as some groups and officials have falsely claimed. Non-union contractors CAN and HAVE bid on PLA projects and WON the contract.
• Prevent Virginia workers from working on the project, in fact, it does quite the opposite by using local hiring halls and creating opportunities for Northern Virginia workers.
Local Case Studies
– Springfield Mixing bowl (done without a PLA): significant delays, massive cost overruns, and 5 deaths.
– Phase I Dulles rail (under PLA): on time, on budget, and one of the best safety records of any project in the Commonwealth.
Furthermore, skilled crafts people were provided in a timely fashion as needed, with approximately 25% of those workers (estimated to be 300) being non-union crafts working for non-union subcontractors (putting to rest the claim that PLAs eliminate the ability of non-union contractors and workers gaining access to PLA jobs).
– Wilson Bridge: the Virginia side (done without a PLA) cost more and took longer to complete than the Maryland side which effectively used a PLA-type agreement