SILVERDALE, Wash. (Dec. 15, 2011) — In an unprecedented move, the U.S. Navy has added the requirement of a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) to their newest construction project which will be put out to bid at the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. The Explosive Handling Wharf #2 project, estimated at $600 million, is expected to break ground in spring of 2012 in a community that will benefit from real economic growth.
Construction labor unions met with the U.S. Navy in November to explore the benefits a PLA would offer on this project. Cost savings and highly skilled labor proved to be the winning combination to secure the agreement. Once the project gets underway, this will be the first PLA utilized by the Navy.
“The use of a PLA is a very good fit for the Navy’s business needs on this project,” said David Myers, Executive Secretary for the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council. “All construction unions came together and made a commitment to meet the very strict windows available to do construction on the waterfront. This sort of commitment to the project will ensure success and open talks for additional PLA’s in the future.”
The construction labor on this project will be provided by the Olympic Peninsula Building Trades and the Northwest Regional Council of the National Construction Alliance II (NWNCA).
“I applaud the decision to use an available, highly skilled local workforce,” said Lee Whetham, President of Olympic Peninsula Building and Construction Trades Council. “Many Fortune 500 companies have already completed successful construction projects using this same approach.”
“This PLA is a first for the Navy, and will lead to more across the country,” said John Littel of the Northwest NCA. “It demonstrates the leadership and value the Washington state construction unions bring to the industry.”
The Washington State Labor Council played an important early role in putting all the players in the room to prove the value of PLA’s to the Navy.
“This is an historic moment for the relationship between the U.S. Navy and labor,” said Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “With this PLA, the Navy will get the highest quality product from our skilled building and construction trade workers and the local economy will get much needed family wage jobs.”
The Building Trades and the Northwest NCA II look forward to delivering the Navy a quality product that is both on time and safely built.