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  • Feb. 23, 2018

Worker Protest Planned on Friday Morning at California Democratic Party Convention in San Diego


Construction Workers Who Choose NOT to Be Unionized Ask Party to Respect Worker Freedom of Choice

WHERE: Embarcadero Marina Park South, 200 Marina Park Way, San Diego

WHEN: Friday, February 23 at 11:00 am

WHY: Democrats are meeting in San Diego to vote on resolutions and hold breakout sessions that demean and exclude independent workers who aren’t unionized. Protest organizers hope that California Democratic Party members will hear their message and consider other perspectives.

WHO: Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction and friends.San Diego, CA (February 23, 2018) - A large group of San Diego independent construction workers - upset at the demands of certain California Democratic Party activists to join the union or leave the industry - will peacefully protest on Friday morning outside of the Party’s annual convention in San Diego.

“Certain activists in the California Democratic Party have become increasingly arrogant in insisting that California state agencies and local governments impose Project Labor Agreements to require all construction workers to come from the unions,” said Eric Christen, who is organizing the protest for the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction.

“Not only does this deprive workers of their freedom of choice, it increases the cost of construction by cutting competition. It reduces employment opportunities for everyone.”

In 2010, 76% of voters in San Diego County approved a ballot measure prohibiting the county from entering into contracts that require construction companies to sign Project Labor Agreements with unions as a condition of work. In 2012, 58% of voters in the City of San Diego approved the same Project Labor Agreement prohibition. Opposition to Project Labor Agreements obviously crossed party lines.

“This is an issue that transcends political party identity,” says Christen. "We hope reasonable Democrats and California residents of ALL political parties will oppose this vision to exclude a solid majority of California’s construction workers from employment in their own industry.”

Convention attendees are expected to vote on a resolution to call for all construction trade workers - even tree trimmers! - to go to the unions and pay dues and fees for the privilege to work under a Project Labor Agreement. Not surprisingly, this resolution is sponsored by former elected officials who were deeply embroiled in ethical and personal controversies during their time in office. 

“The Coalition for Fair Employment has been advocating for freedom of choice and fair and open bid competition for 20 years,” says Christen. “In the past few years, certain controversial activists embedded in the California Democratic Party have pressed for the outright end of independent workers in the state’s construction industry.”

“Californians need to learn about that coercive vision and reject it.”

Of note is that the California Democratic Party convention is being held at a convention center that has been repeatedly targeted for a union Project Labor Agreement on its Phase 3 expansion. Unions used lawsuits, abuse and exploitation of environmental laws, and campaign promises in past attempts to get Project Labor Agreements on the planned expansion. Unions are being coy about their efforts to get a Project Labor Agreement on a new, current effort to expand the convention center.

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