When it comes to our armed forces, our service men and women deserve the best equipment and taxpayers deserve the best price. So news that Big Labor has been successful in its campaign to attack public coffers via a “project labor agreement” mandating union labor on a new Navy project in Washington State is ill news indeed. The Truth About PLAs reports:
Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Northwest has mandated a project labor agreement (PLA) on the construction of a $450 million to $550 million explosives handling wharf #2 (Solicitation No. N4425511R9004) at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Washington.
The PLA mandate harms Washington’s experienced and skilled nonunion construction workforce and will discourage competition from qualified contractors that have successfully built federal projects in Washington and across the country without PLA mandates. It will also needlessly increase costs.
Unsurprisingly, labor’s deep political ties may be a driving factor in the PLA mandate, as Ben Brubeck writes that four Washington Democratic legislators wrote the Navy seeking to force a PLA onto the project. He also notes: “According to information obtained from opensecrets.com, construction trades unions have donated the following political contributions totaling $814,375 to the four Washington Democrats who signed the letter:
Rep. Inslee: $340,000 from 2000 – 2012
Rep. Dicks: $183,125 from 1998 – 2012
Sen. Murray: $279,250 from 1998 – 2012
Sen. Cantwell: $ 12,000 from 2002 – 2012
That’s more than three quarters of a million dollars in donations—which could lead to tens of millions of dollars in extra costs to taxpayers, torpedo-ing our military budget.