Are Unions PLA-ying Politics With The Military?

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, 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
Total: $814,375″

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.

Click through for more information.

This entry was posted in Project Labor Agreements


  1. Susan Ransom
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    There was once a place for unionis. That place has vanished with the dinosaurs. If they continue on th eir present path, the businesses in America will also disappear. No union labor for our military. Their lives are too precious to be involved in a loabor dispute!

  2. Posted January 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny how your claim that PLAs drive up the cost of construction is never supported by any factual evidence – aside from dredging up Boston’s “Big Dig” or trumpeting the widely discredited research from Beacon Hill. The question that needs to be asked is this: If PLAs increase costs like you claim, then why are cost-conscious, profit-oriented private sector corporations turning to PLAs in increasing numbers? In 2011 alone, there were over 200 PLAs in place across the country with a combined value in excess of $200 BILLION. The answer, of course, is obvious: THEY WORK!

  3. Pat
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    When did labor unions become some enemy to be hated. Do you think workers would be better off if conditions return to how they were prior to the existence of unions? No, workers would not be better off.

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