McDonnell showing support for 'right-to-work' for less laws
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has recently extended his anti-labor credentials by caving to extremists in his state on the topic of project labor agreements. A series of e-mails recently released show that he did not have a problem with PLAs until recently, after being pressured by extremists in his party who oppose the rights of working families.
Phase one of the expansion of the Dulles Metrotrail expansion in Northern Virginia was completed under a PLA and the second phase was set to be conducted the same way. Now McDonnell is saying that he won't proceed with the project unless the PLA is revoked. The move not only takes away rights from working families and shows that McDonnell is a flip-flopper who caves under pressure from extremists, it also endangers jobs in the state during fragile economic times:
The aforementioned revelations unearthed by the Washington Post shown that a compromise was agreed to in principal before objections from the right caused them to break down:
The e-mails were provided to The Washington Post by people who are sympathetic to the MWAA and who have been frustrated that McDonnell’s shift has drawn little attention.
The dozens of brief notes exchanged over a period of four months and a subsequent memorandum of understanding among Silver Line contributors show that Connaughton and Jack Potter, the MWAA chief executive, worked carefully on the wording before agreeing to a set of principles that enabled a mandatory project labor agreement.
“Sean, are you okay with the principle below?’’ Potter asked July 27.
“Yes,’’ Connaughton responded.
In November, in an apparent sign of continuing progress, the MWAA asked Connaughton where to send a copy of the agreement for his signature.
But the sentiment soon changed. Connaughton never signed an agreement for a PLA for Phase 2. In February, amid mounting Republican criticism of the PLA for Phase 1, the General Assembly enacted a law intended to prohibit PLAs on the Silver Line project.
Virginia’s “Right-to-Work” law draws definite distinctions between “mandatory” and “voluntary” PLAs. Now, Virginia lawmakers are caught up in a game of words that would be pure comedy if not for the jobs that hang in the balance.