AGC of America has strongly protested the Navys use of a project labor agreement (PLA) for the building of the $450-550 million second explosives handling wharf at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
Both AGC of America and AGC of Washington have expressed concerns about the PLA in a variety of ways. Below are excerpts from the strongly worded letter to NAVFAC by AGC of America CEO Stephen Sandherr. (Click here to see the full letter.)
AGCA neither supports nor opposes PLAs per se but strongly opposes government mandates or preferences for PLAs in the selection or performance of publicly funded construction projects.
AGCA is committed to free and open competition in all public construction markets and believes that the lawful labor relations policies and practices of private construction contractors – such as whether they are signatory to a collective bargaining agreement or agree to adopt one – should not be a factor in a government agency’s selection process… In cases where use of a PLA would benefit a particular project the construction contractors otherwise qualified to perform the work would be the first to recognize that fact and to adopt a PLA voluntarily. They would also be the most qualified to negotiate the terms of such an agreement.
Executive Order 13502 (the “EO”) and its implementing FAR rule merely establish a federal policy of “encouraging executive agencies to consider requiring the use of project labor agreements in connection with large-scale construction projects in order to promote economy and efficiency in Federal procurement.” Section 5 of the EO expressly states that the EO “does not require an executive agency to use a project labor agreement on any construction project.” In fact the EO and FAR rule authorize a PLA mandate only where the agency has made a project-specific determination that all of the following conditions exist:
1. The project will cost the federal government $25 million or more;
2. Use of a PLA on the project will advance the federal government’s interest in achieving economy and efficiency in federal procurement;
3. Use of a PLA on the project will advance the federal government’s interest in producing labor-management stability;
4. Use of a PLA on the project will advance the federal government’s interest in ensuring compliance with laws and regulations governing safety and health equal employment opportunity labor and employment standards and other matters; and
5. Use of a PLA will be consistent with law.
Pursuant to our FOIA request we would like to know whether NAVFAC has conducted a project-specific analysis to determine whether the latter four conditions are present with regard to the Bangor Project. Please provide evidence that such an analysis has taken place and the details of the analysis.
NAVFAC has not yet responded to AGC of Americas letter. For more information contact AGC Seattle District Manager Jerry Dinndorf 206-284-0061.
On a related note AGC of America has launched a new website to provide members with a comprehensive resource on government mandated project labor agreements. Included on the website are AGC’s position on PLAs a library of every letter AGC has sent to the Administration the Congress and the Federal agencies as well as additional resources on what impact PLAs have on the construction industry.
The site also provides a link to AGC of Americas Legislative Action Center where AGC members may go to write a letter to their representatives and senators expressing their opposition to the utilization of government-mandated PLAs on federal construction projects.
The new site will continually be updated with new and relevant information regarding the use of PLAs on federal projects and AGC members are encouraged to visit it regularly.