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More Than Half of Rail to Dulles Workers are Maryland Residents

More Maryland residents were hired to work on the project because the state has more unionized labor.

The Rail to Dulles project is coming together in Virginia and is being paid for mostly by Virginians, but many of the workers hired to build the project are Maryland residents. 

According to The Examiner, in a report from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority about 42 percent of construction workers who are working on the project are from Virginia, and about half are Maryland residents. The reason for hiring more Maryland workers is because the state has more labor unions, which are preferred by MWAA. 

The first phase of the Dulles Metrorail Project used a project labor agreement, which required the use of unionized workers. The project manager was going to require the same for phase two of the project until lawmakers in Virginia threatened to withold funding from the project, The Examiner reported

Read the full story at The Examiner online. What are your thoughts on the project labor agreement and Virginia lawmakers' insistence on foregoing one for phase two?

Kevin D. Korenthal February 17, 2012 at 11:30 PM
In case there was any confusion, 42% is an excellent percentage of local workers. Most Local Hire requirements don't require anything near to 40%. This is a non-story placed by labor-supporting hacks trying to get a union-only Project Labor Agreement on the next stage of the job. Go read up on PLAs. http://www.thecostofplas.com and http://www.thetruthaboutplas.com.
John Moberly February 18, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Excellent that Virginia is foregoing PLA for Phase II! We just can't afford inflated union prices when non-union labor is every bit as skilled and competent.
Douglas Manuel February 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I am in favor of using qualified personnel, working at competitive wages, doing the job. While this story may cause folks to be offended at the notion of Maryland workers in Virginia, one only need to stand at the state line, at rush hour, to see plenty of folks going between both states, to work.
Tim February 18, 2012 at 04:56 PM
These numbers actually tell another important story; when a project of this magnitude is added to a local construction economy, it is impossible for that labor market to expand quickly enough to accommodate the needs of the project. This is exacerbated by the difficult and hazardous nature of this project and the associated high skill level required by the contractor. The PLA and prevailing wages required by this project have actually served to bring both a local (Maryland is arguably so) and highly skilled workforce to the project. Without these elements of the project, rail to Dulles would be being built by workers from Georgia and Florida for lower wages living six to a room at the local Motel 6. The positive economic impact of the construction phase to the local economy would be significantly less.
Tim February 18, 2012 at 05:02 PM
These numbers actually tell another important story; when a project of this magnitude is added to a local construction economy, it is impossible for that labor market to expand quickly enough to accommodate the needs of the project. This is exacerbated by the difficult and hazardous nature of this project and the associated high skill level required by the contractor. The PLA and prevailing wages required by this project have actually served to bring both a local (Maryland is arguably so) and highly skilled workforce to the project. Without these elements of the project, rail to Dulles would be being built by workers from Georgia and Florida for lower wages living six to a room at the local Motel 6. The positive economic impact of the construction phase to the local economy would be significantly less. On a more subjective note, this is pretty shoddy journalism and aside from the reported numbers should be on an editorial page somewhere.
Tim February 18, 2012 at 08:13 PM
p.s. Mr. Korenthal, there is a PLA in place on Phase One, thank you for your complimentary comments as to the numbers of local residents working on the project that it has achieved.
Kevin D. Korenthal February 18, 2012 at 08:16 PM
My point of course is that the Project Labor Agreement had nothing to do with how many local residents actually worked on the project. Again, everyone should read up on PLAs. They are nothing but an instrument by which Big Labor props up their dwindling numbers and as a means to infuse cash in their bankrupt pension programs.
Leslie Perales Loges (Editor) February 19, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Thanks for all the thoughtful comments everyone!
MoonshineDelight February 21, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Well Tim and Douglas were sure quick to spout off their pro-union talking points. But as a lifelong Virginia resident, worker, and taxpayer I have this union requirement to be absurd. As a Virginian, I am forced to work under "right to work" rules, so why should a project that uses my tax dollars be required to pay astronomical wages to Unionized Marylanders? After all, shouldn't we be employing "right to work" Virginians? Governor Tim Caine isn't here to spread the favors around to his bosom buddies at Bechtel anymore. What you see here is the war of northern aggression... or in today's PC terms: wealth transfer north of the Potomac. Apply open market price discovery to this project and these astronomical cost projections will tumble HARD. Virginian construction workers who are NOT members of the unions will actually have an opportunity to find work and spend it here in Commonwealth. Gut the PLA, and put Virginians to work.. Thanks for pointing that out Tim and Douglas.
Rob Jones March 25, 2012 at 02:55 PM
This is hard to prove. Given the costs of the project, the difference in labor costs may be in the millions, but the taxpayers are still being socked with a multi-BILLION dollar bill. So Virginia wants to give nearly a half-billion dollars to provide some miniscule discount to the toll road drivers and this does not even count towards construction. Maybe the fact that we do not have such type of labor living in Fairfax County says something about our standard of living here. Maybe sharing our wealth with Georgia and Florida would be the noble thing to do, but the fact is that the Federal, State and County governments are doing their best to dig into our pockets and strengthen the Democratic voter numbers by awarding contracts to their favored special interests. Not that the Republicans would do any different, but it pretty much stinks either way.

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