DOE is the original “Go-Co”…Government owned, contractor operated agency within
the federal government. As such the work of DOE and its predecessors is almost exclusively
performed by contractors and has been since the middle of World War II during the development
of the Manhattan Project. DOE is the customer and as such sets the standards of the contracts
and administration of these contracts. DOE is the defacto employer of the contractor workforce.
DOE awards contracts based on Requests for Proposals that are developed and written by DOE.
The reimbursements that are allowable under the terms of the DOE contracts sets the limits as to
what the contractors will negotiate with the unions that represents their workers. When the DOE
says they are not involved in negotiations with the unions for the workers at DOE sites, what
they are not saying is that they set the limits on what the contractors can get paid for. DOE
incentivizes contractors’ awards by reimbursements and bonuses for costs avoidances and
reductions in costs, knowing full well these terms dramatically affect the scope and the terms of
the negotiations between labor unions and the contractors.

Read the Metal Trades Department White Paper linked below.
White Paper