Rail Group Asks MWAA to Drop PLA
Dulles Corridor Rail Association outlines reasons to go forward without project labor agreement.
The Dulles Corridor Rail Association sent a letter to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Association (MWAA) late last week asking that the project labor agreement (PLA) be dropped and outlining why the Silver Line Phase 2 must be completed as envisioned.
"We support efforts to stop the PLA preference and substitute language in the procurement process calling for effective management of workforce issues in a manner that conforms with right to work law of Virginia; and find new funding sources (federal, state and private) to explore alternative funding mechanisms to reduce financing costs and the burden on Dulles Toll Road users," wrote Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston), the chairman of DCRA, and Patricia Nicoson, the president of the group.
DCRA says completion of Phase 2, which will run from Reston's Wiehle Avenue to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County, is a project that is "nationally significant."
Phase 1, which will run from Tysons Corner to Wiehle Avenue, is more than 70 percent completed and on schedule to open in late 2013. Phase 2 remains in limbo as there are limited state funds available, no federal funding, and Loudoun County has indicated it may withdraw its support of the project. Loudoun Supervisors have until July 4 to make a decision.
There has also been backlash over the Phase 2 PLA. At issue is whether unionized labor should be given an advantage in getting contracts for project. In screening bids, MWAA wants to give a 10-percent bonus to contractors who agree to a project labor agreement.
"We urge the members of the Airports Authority to remove the divisive PLA incentive and to instead focus on providing the opportunity for firms interested in bidding on the project to demonstrate their willingness and ability to meet expectations for effective workforce management," the letter reads.
To read the entire letter, see the PDF attached to this article.
Meanwhile, the MWAA's Dulles Corridor Committee will meet on Wednesday as part of the MWAA Board meeting.