• Nov. 29, 2019

Anaheim City Council Has No Interest in Research - Unions Want Project Labor Agreement, So Vote Is Happening

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, the Anaheim City Council will vote on requiring construction companies to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions as a condition of working on future city contracts. See the agenda item here:

7. Approve the Community Workforce Agreement (CWA) that provides opportunities for local hires on city construction projects for a five year term with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building Trades Council, and the signatory Craft Councils and Local Unions; authorize the Director of Public Works, or designee, to execute the agreement, periodically update CWA attachments, and take necessary actions to implement and administer the CWA; authorize de minimis changes that do not substantially change the terms and conditions of the CWA, as determined by the City Attorney’s Office; and determine that certain construction and rehabilitation projects to be performed under the CWA shall be categorically exempt under the California Environmental Quality Act, Sections 15301, 15302, 15303, and/or 15304 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations.

List of documents:

Staff Report
1. Agreement
2. March 19, 2019 Staff Report

This email was sent from the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction to the Anaheim Mayor and City Council today (Friday, November 29, 2019).

Councilmembers and Mayor:

It is now apparent why the questions I submitted 8 months ago (see below) were not answered by you or staff: The fix was in on a union PLA from the start.

For 20 years I have read every PLA in California that has been considered. You PLA that was “negotiated” is literally a carbon copy of every LA/OC big labor special interest PLA that has ever been agreed to. Mr. Mayor, those must have been exhausting “negotiations.”

Here is exactly what you will be voting for on Tuesday:

(PLA can be read here.)

• Section 3.8.1: Non-union contractors are only allowed to use FIVE of their employees. FIVE. 

• Section 3.11:   Non-union employees who are used must pay union dues.

• Section 5.2:     Non-union employees who are used must have their benefit  pay (more than $20 per hour) sent to UNION TRUST FUNDS those workers will not vest in and therefore is lost to them.

• Section 14.2:   Young apprentices in state and federally approved apprentice programs are not allowed to work on any of your projects.

Question: What do any of these provisions have to do with anything other than to implicitly and explicitly (in the case of non-union apprentices) discriminate against a class of people and make it more unlikely their employers will bid your work?

If the union provided response is “local hire” here is what you get from big labor special interests in exchange for a monopoly PLA:  A GOAL of 35% local hire where “The Unions and Contractors agree that, to the extent allowed by law, and as long as they possess the requisite skills and qualifications, the Unions will exert their best efforts to refer and/or recruit sufficient numbers of skilled craft Local Hires to fulfill the requirements of the Contractors.” (their words).

Get that? A 35% (what are your current local hire numbers?) GOAL with no enforcement mechanism, no teeth and more than likely is a lower percentage than you are already achieving. Quite a deal.

On Tuesday you have a choice to make: Reduce your bidding pool in an already tight labor market where it is hard to get bidders as is (by discriminating against workers and apprentices) or place the rights of workers and your fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers ahead of big labor special interests.

Eric Christen
Executive Director
Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction

Begin forwarded message:

From: Eric Christen
Date: March 28, 2019 at 9:01:22 AM PDT
To: City of Anaheim Staff
Subject: Question for Staff Regarding Your PLA Claims

Good Morning.

Following up on my rebuttal to your staff report (see below) I wanted to pose the following questions to you:

• What information and data did you use to make the claim in response to Councilmen O’Neil’s question re non-union workers paying union dues, being dispatched through union hiring halls and paying into union pension plans?

• As the video of your last council meeting shows, Mr. Lee claimed that most “large contractors” pay these monies and utilize the union hiring hall regardless of whether there is a PLA in place or not. Please provide me the data to back this claim up.

• What are the “local hire” percentages for previous City of Anaheim projects?

• What are the “local hire” percentages for OC entities with PLA covered projects at Rancho Santiago CCD, City of Santa Ana, Anaheim Union HSD and Santa Ana USD? I am sure these numbers and statistics were acquired by your before this issue was rushed before city council so council could make a more informed decision.

We will be submitting a comprehensive Public Records Act request today that also requests this and much more related to the PLA issue, FYI.

Thank you for your prompt response.

Eric Christen


PO Box 1627
Poway, CA 92074

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