MWAA Drops Discriminatory PLA Preference Policy on Phase 2 of Silver Line Metrorail Project

1 June 6, 2012  State & Local Construction, Transportation & Infrastructure

Today the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) voted 11-1 to remove the union-favoring project labor agreement (PLA) preference policy on Phase 2 of the Silver Line expansion to Dulles International Airport.

Dropping the PLA preference policy will ensure fair and open competition for construction contracts on this important $2.7 billion project. Now that the PLA preference policy has been removed, the project will create jobs for all Virginia construction workers and businesses and save taxpayers millions of dollars.

MWAA finally realized what has said all along: Fair and Open competition free from anti-competitive and costly PLA mandates and preferences is the best way to build a project on time and on budget and deliver to taxpayers the value they deserve.

We encourage Loudoun County Supervisors to support their share of the Phase 2 funding and urge the project’s financial stakeholders to find innovative financing solutions to further reduce the overall cost of the project.

We look forward to the construction of Phase 2 by qualified union and nonunion craft workers and their experienced employers and urge the eventual winning prime contractor to do all that they can to hire local subcontractors and craft workers as Virginia taxpayers are funding the majority of this project through toll revenue and local and state tax contributions.

Below is a statement from ABC Virginia.


June 6, 2012

Media Contact:
Ben Brubeck, Director of Labor and Federal Procurement, ABC National
703-812-2042, brubeck@

Discriminatory PLA on Phase 2 of Silver Line Dropped Opening Opportunity for Loudoun County to Move Forward with the Project

Dulles, VA –The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) today voted 11-1 to remove the union-favoring project labor agreement (PLA) preference policy on Phase 2 of the Silver Line expansion to Dulles International Airport.

“This vote was a huge victory not only for the 97.4 percent of Virginia’s construction workforce that chooses not to join a union and for the taxpayers and toll road users who will be financing this important project, but also for Loudoun County and all regional transportation and economic development initiatives,” said Patrick Dean, president of Associated Builders and Contractors, Virginia Chapter. “MWAA’s decision to walk away from the PLA preference opens the door for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to continue forward as funding partners for Phase 2 of the Silver Line.”

“We appreciate the hard work of Gov. Bob McDonnell, Delegates Tim Hugo, Barbara Comstock, David Ramadan and Senator Mark Obenshain for their efforts to ensure that this important project is built in a way to guarantee stakeholders the best construction at the best price,” continued Dean.


About ABC — Associated Builders and Contractors is a national association with 74 chapters representing more than 22,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms with nearly two million employees. Founded in 1972, the ABC Virginia Chapter is the only association in Virginia dedicated to representing the interests of merit shop contractors. ABC-VA represents all firms in the commercial construction industry equally. Membership represents the full range of contractors, from small family-owned subcontractors to global general contracting firms, as well as, materials suppliers and industry professionals. ABC-VA has offices in Dulles, Richmond and Hampton Roads. Learn more about anti-competitive and costly PLAs and the Silver Line Metrorail controversy at

Update: We will post the resolution and related media coverage here soon.

Resolution No. 12-16 passed June 6, 2012, by MWAA can be found here. MWAA issued this statement moments ago:

June 6, 2012

The Board of Directors of the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority, in a special meeting earlier today, voted 11-1 to proceed with Phase Two of the Dulles Rail Project without any incentive for a Project Labor Agreement (PLA). This is a milestone vote as it resolves an ongoing issue with the State of Virginia and insures the timely advancement of Phase Two of the rail project. Moreover, Governor Bob McDonnell has pledged that Virginia will provide $150 million of funding to the project in early 2013 now that the PLA has been eliminated.

“Today’s vote is a major turning point for the Dulles rail project”, said Airports Authority Chairman Michael A. Curto. “This project is vital to the economic growth of this region and the Board is determined to do whatever is necessary to finish the project as quickly and cost effectively as possible”.

“Dropping the PLA preference was what we needed to do to move forward with this project and with our funding partners,” says the Honorable Thomas M. Davis III, Vice Chairman of the Airports Authority and Chairman of the Dulles Corridor Committee. “This has brought us all closer to recognizing that this project is important to the entire region and requires a team effort.”

The Board Resolution passed today is publicly clickable from webpage location: (see 12-16 under 2012).


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One Response to MWAA Drops Discriminatory PLA Preference Policy on Phase 2 of Silver Line Metrorail Project

HardHatMommy June 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm

All-aboard and full steam ahead towards Loudoun! This is a big win for the 97% of Virginia’s construction workers who are not in a union. It’s a shame it took so long for MWAA to realize how important open competition is to Virginians.

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