Text Resize

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, DC United and National Unions Sign Project Labor Agreement for Soccer Stadium

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, DC United and National Unions Sign Project Labor Agreement for Soccer Stadium

Agreement guarantees opportunities for DC residents in stadium’s construction

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, DC United officials and the affiliated national unions of the Washington DC Building & Construction Trades Council announced agreement on a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for construction of the new DC United Soccer Stadium. As part of the selection criteria for the stadium builder, DC United has agreed that they will obligate the selected contractor to honor the PLA.

The agreement ensures that the proposed project will keep its tight schedule through a no-strike provision and guarantees first priority for District residents for employment and apprenticeship opportunities by waiving the union criteria of hiring by seniority.

“Through this agreement, the District has secured the highest priority for bona fide District residents in employment, apprenticeship and training opportunities as well as the creation of contracting opportunities for local business,” said Mayor Gray. “This agreement advances those goals and ensures that District residents in the construction trades have improved pathways to life-long careers with good wages.”

The PLA is similar to the agreement used for construction of Nationals Park. City Administrator Allen Y. Lew led negotiations for the District for the current deal.

“We were able to build the Washington Nationals ballpark in 24 months due to the strong partnership with labor. The ballpark had to open in time for the start of the season and we got it done with 52-percent District-based certified business enterprises and 82-percent First Source participation,” said Lew. “I’m confident we will have similar success on the soccer stadium.”

The District’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) oversees the First Source program, which mandates that at least 51 percent of all new hires on projects funded in whole or in part by the District government must be District residents. DOES also oversees apprenticeship training for the District and will monitor contractor compliance with both programs.

“We look forward to working with the city to build a new home for DC United. This Project Labor Agreement allows for small DC construction firms to take advantage of the union’s training programs and assist them with getting qualified workers to complete this project,” said Vance Ayres, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Washington DC Building & Construction Trades Council. “Most importantly this provides a needed pipeline to a career for District residents in the construction industry. The Project Labor Agreement also allows us to display our value to the city, owners, residents and construction firms by providing qualified workers, training and preventing many disputes that happen on construction projects.”

The soccer stadium PLA ensures that the project will use union labor for subcontracts valued above $6 million. Any trade packages below that threshold are automatically provided a waiver to the PLA, thereby allowing smaller, often non-union firms, to bid on and perform work. All non-union firms can bid on any phase of construction and are free to take advantage of union training programs.

"We are fully in support of this agreement," DC United Chief Operating Officer Michael Williamson said. "It provides employment opportunities for District residents and expands business opportunities for local, small and disadvantaged companies in the District."

In July, Mayor Gray and the ownership group of four-time Major League Soccer (MLS) champion DC United announced a public-private partnership to build a state-of-the-art, $300 million, 20-25,000-seat soccer stadium in the Buzzard Point area of Southwest. The new stadium will be located adjacent to the Fort McNair Army base, bounded by Half Street and Second Street between R and S Streets SW. It is anticipated to be completed in time for the 2016 season.