WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray, D.C. United officials and the national unions of the Washington DC Building & Construction Trades Council signed a labor agreement for the new D.C. United Soccer Stadium.
"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," according to a press release from Gray's office.
According to the release, "the PLA is similar to the agreement used for construction of Nationals Park."
City Administrator Allen Y. Lew, who led negotiations for the soccer stadium deal, said in a released written statement, "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... I'm confident we will have similar success on the soccer stadium."
DC's First Source program requires at least 51 percent of all new hires on projects funded in whole or in part by the District government must be D.C. residents.
Under the PLA, 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, alowing a smaller, often non-union firms, to bid on and perform work, according to Gray's office. "All non-union firms can bid on any phase of construction and are free to take advantage of union training programs," according to the press release from the mayor's office.
Mayor Gray and the ownership group of D.C. United announced the public-private partnership to build the $300 million, 20-25,000-seat soccer stadium in the Buzzard Point area of Southwest in July. It is anticipated to be completed before the 2016 season.