SILVERDALE, Wash., (NNS) — Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest hosted a tour of the Explosives Handling Wharf 2 construction site for U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and U.S. Congressman Derek Kilmer Nov. 23.
“You are on budget and relatively on schedule; pretty impressive for a project this size,” stated Perez. The purpose of this visit was to provide the secretary the opportunity to visit a construction site that is working with several unions under a Project Labor Agreement.
Perez and Kilmer spent about an hour on the construction site speaking with the prime contractor and union workers about the project and the PLA. The wharf was awarded at $331 million and the cost today is at $344 million. The wharf is on track to be completed in early 2016.
The PLA was used for the EHW2 in large part to provide for labor-management stability. The PLA was signed by the prime contractor and the unions, the Navy is not a signatory to the PLA. As this is the first PLA that NAVFAC has used, determining impacts of the PLA are ongoing.
A PLA is a binding agreement for a specific contract between construction contractors and Unions. PLAs are encouraged but not required by Executive Order 13502 for construction contracts over $25 million; they are to be implemented when they will promote economy and efficiency.
Executive Order (EO) 13502 issued on 6 February 2009 encourages executive agencies to consider the use of project labor agreements (PLA) in connection with large-scale (projects of $25 million or more) construction projects in order to promote economy and efficiency in Federal procurement. Agencies may, on a project-by-project basis, require the use of a PLA by a contractor where use of such an agreement will advance the Federal Government’s interest in achieving economy and efficiency in Federal procurement, producing labor-management stability and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations governing safety and health, equal employment opportunity, labor and employment standards and other matters and be consistent with law.