CONTACTS: Tony Howard, Loudoun County Chamber: 571.209.9020
Gov. Kaine Join Growing, Bi-Partisan List of Leaders Calling For End to Project Labor Agreement Preference on Dulles Rail Project
(May 1, 2012) The Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership, which includes The Dulles Regional, Greater Reston and Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce today applauded former Governor Tim Kaine for joining the growing bi-partisan, multi-jurisdictional coalition of Virginia’s political and business leaders who are calling on the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) board and its funding partners on the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project to settle their differences concerning the workplace agreements for the project.
Speaking at an April 27 meeting at the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, former Governor Kaine made a clear statement of support for scrapping the PLA preference and going back to the system used to construct Phase 1 of the Silver Line. The purpose of the meetings was to hear local perspectives on the future of business development in the Dulles Corridor. Transportation was raised as a critical issue, with a major focus on the importance of completing Phase 2 of the Silver Line for the economic health of the entire Commonwealth of Virginia.
This Wednesday, May 2, 2012, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will meet with MWAA stakeholders involved in building Metro’s new Silver Line. “We are calling on all funding partners to encourage MWAA to drop the PLA preference and focus on the desired outcomes — not terminology”, said Eileen Curtis, president of the Dulles Regional Chamber.
Every prime contractors responding to the MWAA contract process should clearly understand that the funding partners expect them to provide a well-qualified and reliable workforce to build Phase 2 of the project—as clearly stated in the memorandum of understanding negotiated through the leadership of Secretary LaHood. As evidence of the advantage this approach yields, one needs only to look to the success in Phase 1 that focused on workforce qualification issues and performance standards,” said Mark Ingrao, president of the Greater Reston Chamber.
“The way to move this project forward would be for all the stakeholders to agree to establish workplace and workforce performance standards focused on outcomes (safety, stability, skill sets, etc.), and not on the terminology used to describe these standards, and to leave the issue of how those outcomes are achieved to the selected contractors,” said Tony Howard, president of the Loudoun County Chamber.
The Northern Virginia Chamber Partnership represents more than 2,800 businesses and 100,000 jobs, and is focused on enhancing a strong pro-business environment in Northern Virginia, and the Commonwealth as a whole.