Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York told a group of business leaders Wednesday that if the agency managing the construction of Metrorail’s new Silver Line insists on giving preference to unionized labor, the county would probably vote to walk away from the $6 billion project midway through construction.
And that could jeopardize extending Metro from Reston to Dulles International Airport, Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton said.
Speaking to Northern Virginia business leaders at a luncheon hosted by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, York (I) and Connaughton urged the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to reconsider giving preference to contractors that agree to bargaining collectively on workplace rules.
The practice, known as a project labor agreement, has caused friction between the airports authority and Virginia, a so-called right-to-work state that prohibits compulsory union membership. The Virginia General Assembly is poised to commit $450 million to the project, but not if the airports authority shows favoritism in making sure that union labor will have a piece of the project, Connaughton said.