Did you know that in a little less than four months, San Diego could lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding for construction projects? Or that our city might no longer be eligible to receive low-interest loans for sewer and water projects?
This probably comes as a shock, since no one seems very interested in talking about it. But the future of our cityscape is at stake. These factors could make it much more expensive to build in San Diego.
To understand how we got here, we need to go back a few years.
On Oct. 2, 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 922, which prohibits using state funds for local construction projects where local agencies no longer allow the use of project labor agreements. These are pre-hire collective bargaining agreements with labor organizations that set the terms of employment for specific construction projects.
The legislation takes effect in January.
The day after Brown signed that bill, supporters of banning labor agreements for city projects appeared at the San Diego City Council meeting. They had gathered enough signatures to place the labor agreement ban on the ballot, so the Council had two choices: Adopt the measure outright, or place it on the ballot. Council members voted to place it on the June 2012 ballot, designated as Prop A.
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The operative word in Comrade Frye's laughable opinion piece is "could." Other key words are "might" and "potentially." As point of fact, there is not a single example example of Prop A costing taxpayers a nickel, not a single construction project even mentioned.
It's pretty clear what a living wage is in San Diego- it's been thoroughly studied. You could find the info here: http://www.onlinecpi.org/living_wage
For those who read this article and think they might agree with Ms. Frye: (for context here, please keep in mind PLAs are usually only used on massive construction projects. A 20 story residential project downtown is not a likely candidate for one. Think stadiums and similar size undertakings.)
1. PLAs are an economic tool used by labor to block non Union shops from construction projects. The PLA does not outright block non-Union contractors from bidding on work, but it sets up a system where they are pilfered by the union shops. As part of their employees pay, Non-Union shops have to pay into a benefit pool that goes to the local union. However, the employee will not receive those benefits unless he or the company he works for joins the union. Essentially holding the non Union workers pay benefits hostage for a ransom that can only be paid with membership.
2. Labor likes to claim PLA's increase the use of local labor. What they don't tell you is that to achieve that claim, any Union contractors from out of town have their paychecks addresses to the local union halls so they look like they are local.
3. Most importantly! Prop A did not ban PLA's in San Diego. In fact Ms. Frye's statements in this article should be fact checked since they are outright false. Prop A merely prevents the City from requiring a PLA. But wait there is more! Prop A does not apply to projects where the state or federal government requires a PLA as a contracting obligation or as a condition of the receipt of state or federal funds. Effectively nullifying the entire point of Ms. Frye's op-ed.
4. Just because the State is complicit in these practices and is attempting to strong arm San Diego in to backing out of a good decision, that does not mean that we should. San Diego should not cave in to what is essentially legalized government racketeering.
My- the anti-union sentiment is awful here. I don't see this as any problem whatsoever. Just do all contracts with PLAs and that will be that. No need to spend anymore time or money or negativity on this. Fair wages help everyone by putting more money back into the consumer driven market.
@Mandy Barre I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear this, but there is zero consensus on what comprises a "fair" wage. As a taxpayer, I'm going to guess that competition in the marketplace might define "fair" a little differently than a union would.
Toni Atkins voted for SB 922 and SB 829.
Her actions show just whom she supports and whom she thinks should be punished for not kowtowing to the union alter.
Voters keep electing her and should not be surprised by lack of representation of the voters wishes concerning prop "A"
“…On Oct. 2, 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 922, which prohibits using state funds for local construction projects where local agencies no longer allow the use of project labor agreements….”
Since San Diegans support Proposition A it is one more reason not to vote for Mr. Brown in the next election.
Ms Frye. Please don't blame the supporters of Fair and Open Competition or the voters of San Diego for the loss of "hundreds of millions of dollars in state funding for construction projects." The blame rests squarely on the State Building and Construction Trades Council who rammed the bills you mentioned through the legislature and the San Diego legislators who willingly sacrificed San Diego on the alter of obedience to big union bosses, namely: Atkins, Block, Kehoe, Hueso, and Vargas. And don't forget the role of Senator, now Chevron lobbyist Michael Rubio. They are to blame, along with Senator Steinberg and the other supporters of these unconstitutional bills for the fix San Diego is in!
Amen - and while we are at it, does the fiancially-mismanaged State of California actually have money to give to cities for construction projects or is this just a hypothetical case?