• June 3, 2019

Trying Again for Project Labor Agreement at Fresno-Based State Center Community College District

August 2016 was the first time that the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction heard about a threat at the Fresno-based State Center Community College District to require construction companies to sign a Project Labor Agreement to work on contracts there. On March 17, 2017, the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction made a presentation in support of fair and open bid competition at the District board's special "Project Labor Agreement/Community Benefits Agreement/Diversity Procurement Workshop." See the March 16, 2017 article in GV Wire: Working on a Half Billion Dollar Project.

The threat quieted down for a while after it was revealed in June 2017 that a grant agreement for job training involving construction unions, the California High-Speed Rail Authority, and the State Center Community College District was generally a failure. See California High-Speed Rail Jobs: High Hopes, Harsh Reality.

Now, with the impending demise of California High-Speed Rail, unions have turned to elected officials at various local governments in Fresno County to maintain their guaranteed monopoly on construction work. One target is the State Center Community College District. On June 4, 2019, the elected board of the State Center Community College District will vote on the appointment of an advisory committee to consider developing a Project Labor Agreement. See the agenda item: Appointment of Advisory Committee to Consider a PLA Resolution.

There will be opposition. See this commentary in the May 31, 2019 Fresno Bee: Building Communities Begins with Fewer Barriers for Small Construction Companies. Of course, it's those smaller construction companies that unions want to eject from the bidding pool.


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