U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) yesterday met with Colonel Anthony Mitchell, Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District, to discuss the Metro East levee project and the Mel Price Dam project.
“In our meeting yesterday, I strongly urged Colonel Mitchell to require Project Labor Agreements on the levee improvement projects in the Metro East,” said Durbin. “The local resident have taken the unique step of taxing themselves to make these improvements – an extraordinary move which deserves heightened cooperation from the Corps. Project Labor Agreements have been used successfully in Metro East for decades. They promote efficiency and ensure that workers are paid a fair wage.”
Last year, after the Army Corps of Engineers decided not to use a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the first major levee improvement projects in the Metro East region, Durbin joined U.S. Representative Bill Enyart (D-IL) in urging the Corps to use PLAs in future levee improvement projects.
In a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Illinois members cited President Obama’s February 2009 Executive Order, which encourages the use of Project Labor Agreements on large federal construction projects because the agreements can “promote economy and efficiency in federal procurement.”
A PLA is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project. According to the Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council, PLAs have been used successfully on nearly all major projects, public and private, in recent years in Southwestern Illinois.