Coalition Forms to Oppose Project Labor Agreement on Imperial Irrigation District Work
Local Construction Group Created to Fight Discriminatory & Costly Project Labor Agreement Being Pushed by Construction Union Lobbyists
Union Demand Would Send Money Out of Desert Communities and Bring in Out-of-Area Workers
El Centro, CA. - Following months of big labor special interests pushing a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) on all work at the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) a group of local service, professional service and construction related businesses have formed to stand up to the threat of worker discrimination and waste for ratepayers.
Calling itself United Desert Communities of Imperial and Riverside Counties (UDC), the group will spend the next two months educating IID ratepayers about what a PLA would mean for them in terms of costs and higher rates. “Construction unions have been pressuring the IID Board of Directors for more than a year now to place a monopoly PLA on all District work.” said Alan Huber, one of the groups founders. “We know what that will mean to the 90% of the local construction workforce that is union-free and to ratepayers who will have the increased costs passed on to them.”
PLAs force non-union contractors to lay off all but a few of their employees and hire the rest from a union hiring hall. Those few that do work under a PLA are forced to pay dues to the union and must pay into union health, welfare and pension plans they will never vest in thereby having that money lost to them. PLAs are so controversial they have been banned in 24 states and 11 entities in California including neighboring San Diego County where voters banned them by a margin of 76-24%.
“Why would I agree to have my workers lose up to $20 per hour out of their paychecks to work under a PLA?” asked Jon Roessler, of Superior Ready Mix, another local contractor opposing the use of PLAs. “That money will be sent to the construction unions and will never be realized by my employees. That’s wrong and so we won’t bid PLA work. What that means is union contractors from Los Angeles will get the work.”
UDC will be engaging in a wide-ranging effort that seeks to educate IID ratepayers about PLAs while encouraging them to contact the IID Board of Directors to express their opposition to any PLA. The effort will include social media advertising, mailers, phone calls and much more.
The group’s website can be found at www.imperialirrigationdistrictfiscalresponsibility.com