U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Forum on Natural Gas

U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural ResourcesOn May 21, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held its second forum in a three-part series on natural gas. The second roundtable discussion focused on the domestic supply and exports of natural gas. A panel of a dozen witnesses testified before the Committee representing a range of perspectives including agency representatives from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Energy Information Administration (EIA), research firms, industry representatives and advocates. In particular, John Mohlis, Executive Secretary of the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council remarked on the importance of the Jordan Cove Energy Project in terms of job creation and economic benefit to the region.


The Power of Partnership

21st Century Building Trades Unions. We approach our labor relations different than most of our counterparts in the labor world. We’re all part of the same family, but we can only be successful when our contractors are successful and we provide a superior product for the client, ultimately the owner who’s spending the construction dollar.

Labor agreement reached for Jordan Cove LNG Terminal

On April 4, Jordan Cove Contractors and Labor reached a project agreement for the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal at the International Port of Coos Bay. The project, estimated to cost $6 billion, will be built by union labor.

“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement ensuring our facility will be built by experienced union labor,” said Bob Braddock, Project Manager. “Black & Veatch and Kiewit are world leaders in designing and managing LNG and power plant construction projects and teaming them with quality, skilled labor will enhance our long-term safety and reliability.”

Construction of the project is expected to take 42 months, with an average workforce of 900. The average construction wage for the project would be $85,000.

“There are thousands of qualified pipefitters, electricians, laborers, sheetmetal workers, ironworkers and boilermakers across Oregon that will benefit from this work, receiving good wages with benefits for three years of construction,” said John Mohlis, Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary.

Read the full press release here.

Video: Rep. Margaret Doherty closes speeches on Prevailing Wage Bill (HB 2646)

On March 21, the House passed HB 2646, which requires the payment of Prevailing Wage on Oregon University System lands. Rep. Doherty carried the bill and closed all speeches. The bill passed 47-10.

Video: Rep. Bill Kennemer speaks in support of Prevailing Wage (HB 2646)

On March 21st, Republican Rep. Bill Kennemer rose to speak in support of HB 2646. Thank you, Rep. Kennemer, for standing up for working families.

Video: Rep. Val Hoyle on the House Floor, voicing her support for Prevailing Wage (HB 2646)

On March 21, House Majority Leader Val Hoyle stood up for construction workers and their families by giving this passionate speech in support of HB 2646, a bill that would require the payment of Prevailing Wage on Oregon University System Lands. Thank you, Val!

Video: Rep. Margaret Doherty on her support for Prevailing Wage (HB 2646)

On March 21, Rep. Margaret Doherty gave a strong speech in support of Prevailing Wage. She was carrying HB 2646, a bill she sponsored on behalf of the Oregon Building Trades Council, to the floor of the House. She explains that it is unfair for the construction worker to be the only party involved in a public works project who does not have a contractual agreement on their compensation. Prevailing wage alleviates this problem. Thank you, Rep. Doherty for being a champion for the middle class. The bill ended up passing on a bipartisan 47-10 vote.

CRC Update: Gov. Kitzhaber signs HB 2800 into law

Surrounded by supporters of the Interstate-5 Bridge Replacement Project (otherwise known as the Columbia River Crossing), Gov. John Kitzhaber signed HB 2800 into law this morning. Allocating $450 million in state funding for the bridge, HB 2800 was widely supported by both chambers of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. “We have a bridge,” Kitzhaber proudly declared in his remarks after signing the bill.

Read more on Oregon Live.


Gov. John Kitzhaber signing HB 2800 into law. Surrounding him are Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario; Rep. Tina Kotek, D-North Portland; John Mohlis, Executive Secretary of Oregon State Building Trades; and several other supporters.

Gov. John Kitzhaber making remarks on Oregon's commitment to the Interstate-5 Bridge Replacement Project.

Gov. John Kitzhaber making remarks on Oregon’s commitment to the Interstate-5 Bridge Replacement Project.

Oregonian Op-ed by John Mohlis: It’s time to protect Oregon’s prevailing wage

By John Mohlis
March 06, 2013

The Oregonian’s Feb. 25 editorial “Time to rethink the prevailing wage” suggests that it would be wise to repeal Oregon’s prevailing wage law. However, doing so would be incredibly detrimental to Oregon’s construction contractors, our highly skilled construction workforce, public contracting agencies and Main Street businesses.

The federal prevailing wage law, commonly referred to as Davis-Bacon, was sponsored by Republicans Rep. Robert Bacon and Sen. James Davis in 1931. The intent of the law was twofold: first, to encourage the use of local contractors and workers on construction projects as the federal government spent huge sums of money to put people back to work; and second, to award projects to contractors based on the skill and efficiency they bring to the job, rather than how little they pay their workers or their ability to avoid paying for benefits. Taxpayers, contractors and workers have been well-served by this legislation since its passage.

Read the entire piece at Oregon Live.

The Oregon Legislature Says, “Build the Bridge!” – Passes HB2800!

On Monday, the Oregon Senate voted to fund the I-5 Bridge Replacement Project (CRC) on a bipartisan vote of 18-11. This represents a major milestone for the I-5 Bridge Replacement project that will create thousands of construction jobs in Oregon. Now all eyes are on the Washington State Legislature.