Worsening taxpayers' inevitable shafting from renovation of Washington's Cannon House Office Building is federal law that discriminates against nonunion firms and workers — and Obama-administration policy that encourages the same.
The 108-year-old, 800,000-square-foot building needs work: It poses more than 340 health and safety hazards, The Hill reports. Any taxpayer who's redone a kitchen knows this renovation's cost and timetable — a contract worth more than $550 million and running through 2025 has been awarded — will only grow. But it'll still cost taxpayers more than it should.
One reason is federal laws requiring “prevailing” — read “union” — wages when federal construction contracts exceed $2,000. So, even if a nonunion firm does Cannon renovation work, it'll pay the higher wages that unions dictate — and taxpayers won't save.
Then there's President Obama's Executive Order 13502, signed just days into his first term. It encourages federal agencies to require project labor agreements (PLAs) — no-strike pacts that shut out nonunion labor, raising costs — on projects costing more than $25 million.
The final Cannon renovation contract isn't public yet. But given how beholden this White House is to organized labor, bet that PLAs, which have to be negotiated, will be involved.
All this will make the renovated Cannon building one of Washington's biggest, most visible monuments — to unions' government-enabled extortion of taxpayers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sunday pops
- The Kane case: Charges upon charges
- How to counter Putin in Syria
- The Box
- The Oregon shooting: Tragic & appalling
- Greensburg Laurels & Lances
- The Cinefra case: A sordid defense
- The Thursday wrap
- Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
- Saturday essay: Perpetual peppers
- Fire prevention: Service & honor