• Dec. 6, 2019

Betrayal! Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu and Anaheim City Councilmember Steve Faessel LIED About "Negotiating" the New Project Labor Agreement with Labor Unions

Phone calls are now going to 60,000 households in the City of Anaheim asking voters to call (714) 765-5247 and object to the BETRAYAL of taxpayers by two Republicans: Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu and Anaheim City Councilmember Stephen Faessel.

Here's the script:

On Tuesday, in front of a council chamber packed with nonunion apprentices and construction workers, Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu and Councilman Steve Faessel voted to discriminate against them by supporting a Project Labor Agreement.

This PLA will allow union bosses to control all construction in the city of Anaheim. This payoff to union bosses will reduce bidders and result in cost increases for taxpayers of up to 20 percent.

Contact Mayor Sidhu and Councilman Faessel TODAY at (714) 765-5247 and let them know this betrayal will not be forgotten. 

We must hold supposed Republicans who sell out to big labor special interests accountable. That’s (714) 765-5247.

Thank you.

Meanwhile, the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction has sent a missive to the mayor and all city council members explaining the reason for the phone calls.

From: Eric Christen, Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction
Subject: Mayor Sidhu and Councilman Faessel lied about "negotiating" the Anaheim PLA.
Date: December 6, 2019 at 11:05:49 AM PST
To: <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>

Mayor and Councilmembers:

One reason politicians are held in such low esteem in this day and age is, I believe, for two primary reasons: First, they generally lie. Notice I said “generally.” There are of course exceptions, but for the most part this general statement applies. Secondly they are generally tools of special interests. On Tuesday both of these occurred in your horrific vote for the blatantly exclusionary and wasteful union PLA you adopted.

Councilmembers Kring, O’Neil and Barnes: Thank you for your vote to modify the PLA to something that resembled fairness. Your modification of the typically discriminatory provisions of all PLAs was righteous. Sadly these impossible-to-argue-against changes (workers getting to keep their own money, contractors getting to employ their own workers and non-union apprentices being allowed to work on projects paid for with their own tax money) were voted down by Councilmen Moreno, Faesell, Brandman and Mayor Sidhu.

Moreno and Brandman are no surprise as they are simply tools of big labor special interests.

But what Mayor Sidhu and Councilman Faessel engaged in and allowed to occur in front of a room full of young men and women who simply want a chance to provide for their families was immoral, un-American and unforgivable.

Sadly it’s the contractors, workers, apprentices and taxpayers who will feel this the most. But it should be known here and now that there will be consequences for Mayor Sidhu and Councilman Faessel as well.

You repeatedly stated on Tuesday you had “negotiated” this PLA with local big labor special interests. I pointed out in great detail (see below) how in fact you had negotiated nothing.

Your constituents deserve better. As of 10 minutes ago they began to learn what it is you have done. We will now work to see that they have an opportunity to change the direction of this city.

Eric Christen
Executive Director 
Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction

From: Eric Christen, Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction
Sent: Friday, November 29, 2019 10:23 AM
To: <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>
Subject: Your City of Anaheim PLA is a standard union template that openly discriminates against union free workers & apprentices. How will you vote Tuesday?

Importance: High

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

From: Eric Christen, Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction
Date: March 28, 2019 at 9:01:22 AM PDT
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
Executive Director
Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction


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