MIL-OSI USA: Maryland Delegation Members Urge Purple Line Contractors to Forge Project Labor Agreement with Construction Workers

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Steny H Hoyer (MD-05)

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) joined Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Congressmen John Sarbanes (MD-03), Anthony G. Brown (MD-04), and Jamie Raskin (MD-08) to urge Maryland Transit Solutions (MTS), the group of contractors leading the development of the Purple Line, to complete a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the project’s construction workers. In their letter to MTS Project Director Terry Gohde, the lawmakers stressed the need for a PLA to ensure quality and reliable work. Maryland workers had previously secured a PLA with the prior contractors on the project; however, the new contractors have not reached a similar agreement. The lawmakers urged MTS to do right by the workers affected by the transition in the contract by reaching a PLA, and requested a written response from MTS by July 12 detailing its efforts to secure an agreement with the project’s workers. 

“We stand in support of the Maryland workers fighting for the benefits that a PLA would deliver to ensure quality and reliable construction as the project resumes,” the lawmakers write. “PLAs are vital tools to alleviate the management and coordination challenges of major construction projects like the Purple Line. By setting employment terms for all workers on a construction project, they ensure timely completion and quality work.

“When Maryland was in the process of switching to a new contractor for the Purple Line, then Secretary of Transportation Greg Slater testified to the Board of Public Works that, ‘The PLA utilized was a typical PLA and would be similarly utilized by a replacement design-build contractor as it is based upon a standard form that can be readily incorporated into the replacement contract.’ The workers who were laid off when construction stopped on the Purple Line deserve to see this promise kept as construction resumes,” they urged.

The full letter can be read here and below.

Dear Mr. Gohde, 

We are writing to urge you to complete a project labor agreement (PLA) for Maryland Purple Line construction workers. We stand in support of the Maryland workers fighting for the benefits that a PLA would deliver to ensure quality and reliable construction as the project resumes.

PLAs are vital tools to alleviate the management and coordination challenges of major construction projects like the Purple Line. By setting employment terms for all workers on a construction project, they ensure timely completion and quality work. The public and private sectors both make extensive use of PLAs for large construction projects, including for Disney World, the Kennedy Space Center, Yankee Stadium, and Ørsted’s offshore wind farms.

President Joe Biden recognized the value of PLAs with Executive Order 14063, which he signed right here in Maryland, to require PLAs on large federal construction projects unless a senior agency official grants an exception. We commend President Biden for setting this positive example at the federal level, which we hope you will follow in Maryland. 

When Maryland was in the process of switching to a new contractor for the Purple Line, then Secretary of Transportation Greg Slater testified to the Board of Public Works that, “The PLA utilized was a typical PLA and would be similarly utilized by a replacement design-build contractor as it is based upon a standard form that can be readily incorporated into the replacement contract.” The workers who were laid off when construction stopped on the Purple Line deserve to see this promise kept as construction resumes.

Thank you for your work to build fast and reliable transit for the people of Maryland. Please reply by July 12, 2022 with a description of the efforts you are undertaking to secure a PLA for the benefit of Maryland workers and taxpayers.

 

Sincerely,

 

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