Sound Transit to Reinstate Mandatory PLA Requirement on U Link Project

As reported previously in AGC Works (see article here) President Obama rescinded the Bush Administration Executive order prohibiting mandatory Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on projects with federal funds. Last Thursday Sound Transit announced its intention to require a PLA on the U-Link project and asked holders of bid documents to provide comment.

An informational briefing will be held on March 4 2009 at 11:00 am at Sound Transit (401 South Jackson Street Seattle) to explain the terms of Sound Transits PLA and to address contractor questions. Until now contractors could choose to participate in a PLA or not.

Whether a document holder or not this is an opportunity for the contracting community to let Sound Transit know the intensity of the industrys concern about the use of PLAs!

Send your comments to Brian Knight Contracts Manager by March 4th and/or attend the meeting on March 4.

If you would like a copy of Sound Transits current voluntary PLA language that is now being made mandatory email Jerry Dinndorf AGCs Seattle District Manager.

A PLA also known as a government-mandated labor agreement (GMLA) is an agreement that the government has negotiated and then imposed on contractors and subcontractors on a publicly funded construction project. Such project labor agreements typically restrict the majority of employment to those workers whom unions are willing to refer to the project. This leads to a negative impact on small companies nonunion companies and disadvantaged businesses as they are frequently excluded from contracting opportunities by such agreements. AGC opposes GMLAs. For more information on GMLAs see the background piece prepared by AGC of America by clicking here.

The U-Link project involves the construction of approximately 11400-foot long segmentally lined twin-bored tunnels using pressurized face techniques including cross passages excavated at intervals between the bored tunnels using sequential excavation methods between University of Washington Station and Capitol Hill Station and civil and structural work for the University of Washington Station crossover.