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Lawmakers Dig In Over Dulles Metro Rail Funding

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A dispute over union labor and the Dulles Metro Rail Project is escalating. In a letter to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Chairman, Virginia's Transportation Secretary and the Loudoun and Fairfax county executives are urging the authority to drop a plan they claim would unfairly benefit unions in the upcoming bidding process.

The letter follows legislation passed by the Republican-led Virginia General Assembly -- a bill Governor McDonnell intends to sign -- threatening to withdraw the state's $150 million contribution to Dulles Phase 2. Attorney Brian Petruska at the Laborers' International Union of America says this situation is ridiculous, and could prevent the same workforce from finishing the rail line.

Virginia is taking the position that whatever else MWAA wants to do, it absolutely can't do that, it can't use the same workers as Phase 1 on Phase 2, and the only reason is that they are union workers.

Republican lawmakers contend the Airports Authority's plan discriminates against non-union workers. This fight may eventually hit you in the pocketbook. Without Virginia's funding, the authority says tolls on the Dulles Toll Road will double to nearly nine bucks round trip.

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