Here’s a Friday recap of the alphabet soup of media coverage of the recent news surrounding the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) decision to cancel its solicitation for bids to construct a new Job Corps Center in Manchester, N.H. under a government-mandated project labor agreement (PLA).
The DOL’s Job Corps Center PLA was believed to be the first government-mandated PLA on a federal construction project since President Obama’s Executive Order 13502 was issued Feb. 6, 2009.
An Associated Press (AP) story appeared in The New York Times, Boston Globe, WBZ38-TV (DE), The News Journal (DE), CBS 4 Denver, Yahoo! News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, ABC News and other media outlets (“US Labor Dept Reviews NH Job Corps Building Terms, 11/12).
…Thursday, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, who had lobbied for the Job Corps center, called the Labor Department’s recent decision ”just another unnecessary bureaucratic delay to the progress of this critically important project.”
”This setback clearly illustrates that the administration’s decision to discriminate against successful, independent construction firms because Granite State employees choose to work in a union-free environment simply does not hold water in New Hampshire,” he said.
In September, Gregg had urged the department to reconsider its decision, saying that only 8.7 percent of the construction workers in New Hampshire were unionized…
Additional coverage from the Concord Monitor, Job Corps Site Sits in Silence (11/12), explains why this project is so important to qualified New Hampshire contractors who oppose the discriminatory and costly PLA:
Kenneth Holmes, president of North Branch Construction, which filed the protest that lead to the bid delay, said he hoped his firm could qualify for the project. He said that he had laid off about 18 workers in the past couple of years because of the economy but that a big project such as the Job Corps center might require him to call some of them back.
“I’ve got 40 workers, and I’d like to put them to work,” Holmes said.
- (BNA) Construction Labor Report: Labor Department Cancels Bid Solicitation Under Challenge in New Hampshire for PLA,” 11/12 (password required)
- The Nashua Telegraph: Labor Dept Examining Requirement for NH Jobs Corps, 11/12
- OpenMarket.org: Obama Administration Hits Brakes on Project Labor Agreement, 11/12
Let’s hope that the increased media attention will shed some light on Executive Order 13502 and PLAs, which are special interest giveaways to Big Labor and have no place in fair and effective public policy.