• Oct. 16, 2019

Unions Jeopardize HVAC Infrastructure for One of World’s Most Famous Companies

Google wants to build a mechanical facility (the 1390 Borregas Mechanical Facility Project) in the City of Sunnyvale to heat and cool 3.7 million square feet of its building space. It had this building consciously designed to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

Guess who’s the sole opponent? That’s right: construction trade unions.

Unions are masquerading this time as a fake local environmental grassroots organization called “Safe Fuel and Energy Resources California (SAFER California).” They claim to be very worried about the harm Google will do to the planet with this project.

On behalf of the labor unions of SAFER California, the law firm of Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cardozo submitted a 41-page letter and a thick package of related exhibits to the City of Sunnyvale on September 24. This was the day before the Sunnyvale Zoning Administrator was scheduled to convene a hearing about the project. They claimed that the city’s environmental review of the Google facility under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was inadequate and deficient.

We’re guessing the city's environmental review would have been just fine if Google had agreed to sign a Project Labor Agreement with the unions. But Google did not surrender, and the hearing was delayed until October 16.

In the meantime, a law firm representing Google submitted a letter rebutting the union arguments.

At 2:40 pm on October 16 - twenty minutes before the Sunnyvale Zoning Administrator’s rescheduled hearing - the unions submitted another objection letter to the City of Sunnyvale. Unions obviously really want to squeeze a Project Labor Agreement out of Google.

But this time the hearing went on as scheduled. Google representatives and their lawyers explained the project and spoke in support of the city's environmental review.

An attorney for Google pointed out, correctly, that Project Labor Agreements were not germane to the environmental review. The Sunnyvale Zoning Administrator then approved the project.

Unless Google succumbs to the pressure and signs a Project Labor Agreement, you can expect the unions and their front group Safe Fuel and Energy Resources California (SAFER California) to object to the environmental review of the mechanical facility through the legislative process and then in the courts.


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