• March 20, 2019

A Message to the Santa Barbara City Council on Its Payoff to Labor Union Leaders

Email to Santa Barbara City Council, March 20, 2019.

Santa Barbara City Council,

As was stated yesterday, the vote you took was about funding something the previous board had rammed through in an egregious manner. That almost $100K in funding is just the beginning with regards to what this payoff to big labor special interests will cost you should a standard PLA actually be approved by the council in the months to come. As the Mayor said in her bigoted comments at the end, this is about “union labor,” not workers, contractors, taxpayers, or anyone else. It’s about donors and politics.

That being said it was encouraging to hear a majority of the council express support for a PLA that has all parties at the table and that includes fair provisions vs the standard exclusionary provisions Mr. Vlaming gets paid handsomely to “negotiate.” Speaking of Mr. Vlaming, I will next be emailing some background on who this individual is.

By now the odds are good he is a member of the “1%” we hear progressives usually decry. At almost $50k a pop to print up a boilerplate PLA for you to “agree” to is quite the act. Attached you will also find what he “negotiated” for San Luis Obispo (see my comments in the PLA itself re key provisions), which is what he “negotiates” for all his clients. If you have read one PLA you have read them all which is why it is imperative that all voices have a say in this process, especially when it comes to contractors being able to employ all of their workers and those workers not being forced to pay into union health, welfare and pension plans. 

Finally, Councilman Freidman cited, as a seeming rational for his yes vote, the attached chart that shows since 2014 34% of all workers on projects being from outside the Tri-County region. What is shocking about him doing this is that the unions only promise the pathetic goal of 30% local hire. In other words they are looking to reduce by more than half what you are already achieving according to the chart the councilman provided! (66% to 30%). Remind me again the PLA is supposed to get you?

We will be following this process every step of the way and ask that you and/or staff not hesitate to contact us should they have any questions.

Eric Christen

Executive Director

Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction


PO Box 1627
Poway, CA 92074

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