Coalition Opposes SANDAG’s Discriminatory Project Labor Agreement to Cover Billions in Construction Work
December 15, 2021
SANDAG Board Members Controlled by Big Labor Special Interests Set to Approve PLA Friday.
Coalition Promises Opposition to Any Future Tax Increase If Approved.
December 15, 2021 – SAN DIEGO, CA – On Friday the SANDAG Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on a hastily agreed to Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that will cover all construction work valued at more than $5 million. The PLA, negotiated between SANDAG staff and local trade unions, did not allow any other groups or voices at the negotiating table despite unions representing only 10% of the local construction workforce.
The PLA “negotiated” by the unions and SANDAG makes it all but impossible for union-free construction workers to be employed on any of the projects covered by the PLA. The PLA achieves this using a few key provisions:
• Local non-union construction companies get to employ only three of their own workers. All other workers will be provided to the companies by the unions.
• These few workers who are allowed to work must pay union dues. This means that $1000 out of their first paycheck is taken and goes to a group with whom do not chose to belong.
• The workers also have their benefits (health care, retirement) directed to union health, welfare and pension plans, which often require an extended period of union representation in order to receive those benefits. This equates to more than $20 per hour that is taken from each of these workers never to be seen again. This is wage theft and, when combined with the other mandates, discourages union-free firms from even bidding.
“SANDAG have promised unions that is they collect the signatures to put a tax increase on the ballot they will get, in exchange, a monopoly on all SANDAG work.” said Eric Christen, Executive Director of the San Diego based Coalition for Fair Employment in construction (CFEC). “This bigotry and exclusion has no place in San Diego County and has in fact been rejected by the people in this County. Now Tom Lemmon, before he resigned in disgrace as the head of the trade unions, cut this deal with SANDAG staff and Board leadership. Instead of having us all work together to build San Diego they have chosen to divide us thereby guaranteeing opposition to any future tax increase.”
San Diego County voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition A in San Diego County in 2010 by a 76-24% margin. In 2012 voters in the City of San Diego voted 58-42% to do the same.
The press conference will take place at 9:00am at the Encanto/62nd Street Trolley Station off of Imperial Avenue in San Diego.