The metro-east levee work is supposed to be about protecting our area from flooding, but U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart seem to think it's about protecting jobs.
The two Democrats just sent a letter to an assistant secretary of the Army complaining that the Army Corps of Engineers isn't using a Project Labor Agreement on its portion of upcoming levee work. They urged PLAs on future segments so wages and working conditions are set for their union supporters.
"Frankly, this decision is baffling to a community that has so strongly pursued this project," they wrote.
But there's nothing baffling about it. A Corps spokesman said PLA's were carefully considered. However, "The Corps' job is to ensure the federal investment delivers the best value to the nation." In the Corps view, a PLA wasn't going to accomplish that.
Everyone knows that our nation has too few funds available for the many needed public works projects nationwide. The Corps should do everything possible to ensure that tax dollars are spent efficiently and effectively. We wish Durbin and Enyart would do the same.