Worst of the Week: Voting against Virginia
February 3, 2012
This week, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling cast a tie-breaking vote banning project labor agreements (PLAs) on state-funded construction projects in Virginia. "Delegate David L. Englin, Alexandria Democrat, questioned what the legislation approved Tuesday would actually do. 'It's preventing the commonwealth from ever using this tool to protect taxpayer interests,' he said. 'I'm simply concerned that we not tie the commonwealth's hand and take away what can be, in some cases, a valuable tool.'"
Progressive Point: In their ideological efforts to be anti-worker, conservative legislators in Richmond are banning a market-based tool that sets rules and expectations for management and workers, and is actually beneficial to Virginia. PLAs neither require a unionized workforce nor do they require any worker to join a union. PLAs are good for local economies because they guarantee local workers are chosen for local projects, keeping construction dollars in our communities.
By putting politics above Virginia, conservatives are hurting the Commonwealth. Our representatives need to focus on fixing the economy, and LG Bill Bolling's tie-breaking vote against PLAs is a vote against it and the best interests of Virginia.
Get the Facts:
- Phase 1 of the Dulles Rail project utilized a PLA. The project is ahead of schedule, under budget, and has the best safety record of any construction project in Virginia. The new Springfield interchange (I-95 & I-495) is being constructed without a PLA. That project is "three times over budget, way behind schedule", and there have been 4 fatalities on the job. (Building & Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO)