Maryland delegation members urge Purple Line contractors to reach project labor agreement with construction workers

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June 29, 2022

Lawmakers seek update on progress of draft labor agreement negotiations by July 12

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, John Sarbanes, Anthony G. Brown and Jamie Raskin (all D-Mds.) urged Maryland Transit Solutions (MTS), the group of contractors leading the development of the Purple Line, to enter into a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with project construction workers. In their letter to MTS Project Director Terry Gohde, lawmakers emphasized the need for a PLA to ensure quality and reliable work. The Maryland workers had previously obtained a PLA with the project’s previous contractors; however, the new entrepreneurs did not reach a similar agreement. Lawmakers have urged MTS to accommodate transition-affected workers in the contract by entering into a PLA, and have requested a written response from MTS by July 12 detailing its efforts to secure an agreement with project workers.

“We stand with Maryland workers fighting for the benefits a PLA would bring to ensure quality and reliable construction as the project resumes,” write the lawmakers. “PLAs are essential tools to alleviate the management and coordination challenges of large construction projects like the Purple Line. By setting terms and conditions of employment for all workers on a construction project, they ensure prompt completion and quality work.

“When Maryland was transitioning to a new contractor for the Purple Line, Transportation Secretary Greg Slater told the Board of Public Works that “the PLA used was a typical PLA and would also be used by a design of replacement. -construction contractor as it is based on a standard form which can be easily incorporated into the replacement contract. The workers who were laid off when construction halted on the Purple Line deserve that promise to be kept as construction resumes,” they urged.

The full letter can be read here and below.

Dear Mr Gohde,

We are writing to urge you to complete a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for Maryland Purple Line construction workers. We stand with Maryland workers fighting for the benefits an APL would bring to ensure reliable, quality construction as the project resumes.

PLAs are essential tools to alleviate the management and coordination challenges of large construction projects like the Purple Line. By setting terms and conditions of employment for all workers on a construction project, they ensure prompt completion and quality work. Both the public and private sectors use PLAs extensively for major construction projects, including Disney World, Kennedy Space Center, Yankee Stadium, and Ørsted Offshore Wind Farms.

President Joe Biden recognized the value of PLAs with Executive Order 14063, which he signed right here in Maryland, to require PLAs on major federal construction projects unless a senior agency official n grants an exception. We commend President Biden for setting this positive example at the federal level, which we hope you will follow in Maryland.

When Maryland was transitioning to a new contractor for the Purple Line, Transportation Secretary Greg Slater told the Board of Public Works that “the PLA used was a typical PLA and would also be used by a design of replacement. the building contractor, as it is based on a standard form that can be easily incorporated into the replacement contract. The workers who were laid off when construction stalled on the Purple Line deserve that promise to be kept as construction resumes.

Thank you for your work in building fast, reliable public transit for the people of Maryland. Please respond by July 12, 2022 with a description of the efforts you are undertaking to obtain a PLA to benefit Maryland workers and taxpayers.

Sincerely,



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