Support local workers and competitive bidding

February 6, 2015

cfeOPINION BY ERIC CHRISTEN

Project Labor Agreements (PLA) discourage fair, open and competitive bidding on public works projects and discriminate against merit-shop workers, a majority of the workers in construction. We believe in increasing opportunities for all workers regardless of their labor affiliation.

PLA are a tool used by local school, city, county, state and federal officials to exclude non-union workers. On construction projects, PLA virtually guarantee that only contractors who agree to big labor’s demands can compete.

Workers must pay costly union dues, even if the employee is not a union member.

All workers must be hired through a union hiring hall. This discriminates against non- union workers. Companies are often forced to lay off proven, productive workers to hire strangers picked by the union bosses.

All employees must contribute to union health, welfare and pension plans, regardless of whether or not the workers already have their own plans. Union plans also require long vesting periods making it unlikely that the non-union worker will see the benefit of their contributions.

All apprentices must come from state approved union programs, discriminating against thousands of apprentices in state approved merit shop programs.

PLA limit competition, meaning fewer jobs and higher costs for taxpayers. PLA discriminate against the 84 percent of California construction workers who choose not to join a union.

PLA drive up costs for construction projects as much as 13-15 percent.

Eric Christen is the head of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction.


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14 Comments

  1. choprzrul says:

    Unions worked out SO well for Detroit…..we should all strive to attain that level of excellence.

    (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
    • Ted Slanders says:

      You’re right, case in point, look at the revied auto makers, praise!

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. Craneguy says:

    Go non union and you will have every fly by night contractor and half trained worker descending on this area for work. Don’t like paying a living wage?? Keep going non union and turn Slo County into another Santa Maria.

    (-11) 23 Total Votes - 6 up - 17 down
    • Myself says:

      For state,county,city work,any govt agency the pay is the same for union and non union jobs, its called “prevaling wages” so the wage argument is a moot point, you know this but want to ignore the fact.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
      • Ted Slanders says:

        Myself,

        Refrain from being ignorant. Ask yourself where those higher “Prevailing wages” came from. Unionization raises the wages of the typical low-wage worker in any area by 20.6 percent and among women workers union members earn 14 percent more than those workers who were not in unions. FACTOID!

        Without the UNIONS, wages wouldn’t even have come close to keeping up with inflation. FACTOID.

        If you have a nine to five job, are you enjoying your weekends off, thanks to the LABOR UNIONS where they engaged in massive strikes in order to demand shorter work weeks so that Americans can be home to enjoy their loved ones? Look up the 1937 Fair Labor Standards Act, and thank the UNIONS that allows you two days off per work week!

        I don’t want to over indulge you with other fact that the UNIONS have given you and yours over the years, but if you truly don’t want to be ignorant anymore, remember, Google is your friend in this respect.

        (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  3. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    The unions want these because they need this additional forced income from non-union firms to shore up their underfunded pension liabilities. PLAs have nothing to do with quality work, preventing strikes, “on time under budget,” “local hiring” or anything else. Everything they claim to do is already covered by state laws on government work.

    When the voters approved the bond measure NOTHING was said about using union-only labor to exclude 90% of our local construction workers. Apparently our local workers are good enough to pay for this for the next thirty years but not good enough to work on it?

    The Cuesta Foundation will never get a dime donation from me if this goes through! Go ask the unions to support you, not us taxpayers.

    (7) 21 Total Votes - 14 up - 7 down
  4. Rich in MB says:

    Why should I have to join a Union that uses my dues money to support politicians and policies that I don’t personally support! PLAs drive up costs, hurt middle class families and are used as a political weapon! It’s time to stand up to the Unions that are destroying our communities.

    (15) 37 Total Votes - 26 up - 11 down
    • Ted Slanders says:

      Rich,

      You’re parroting yourself again, why? You pay taxes for things that you personally don’t support as well. Why put yourself in such a hypocritical position? Are you going to audit your next IRS taxes to see where each dollar is spent, and if some of it is spent on something that you just don’t like, are you going to ask for your money back on that entity? You live in a SOCIALIST and Capitalistic country whether you like it or not. Live with it!

      You have absolutely no concept of what UNIONS represent in the whole for workers that do not have their own business or are lucky enough to have an inheritance from mommy and daddy.

      God forbid UNION members are paid a livable wage subsequent to George W. Bush taking this country to it’s knees with a deep recession that we’re still trying to dig out from!

      (-6) 24 Total Votes - 9 up - 15 down
    • Slowerfaster says:

      Well, you have a choice.

      You can work for an employer or corporation that overworks and underpays you, and then turns and uses the excess profits generated by your labor to lobby and buy politicians so that they ( your employer ) pays less taxes than you …if at all.

      I’m perfectly OK if you choose to be a willing slave with no bargaining rights, no vacations, no overtime, no health coverage, and disposable when you reach an age where work is hard or impossible.

      Personally, I would have no objection to your freedom to starve.

      (-7) 21 Total Votes - 7 up - 14 down
      • NorCoMod says:

        Nice. You and the Taliban stuck in some previous century.

        Prevailing Wage would pay most nonunion workers on any state or federal project in the neighborhood of $55.00 to $65.00 dollars per hour. You saying tradesman at those rates are underpaid?

        If you’re comparing that wage to our local public employees, maybe it seems that way.

        (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
  5. Pelican1 says:

    Lets not forget what the unions did to Doc’s in Arroyo. Just say NO to union only contracts.

    (23) 35 Total Votes - 29 up - 6 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      It is not really fair to compare all unions to the one that picketed Doc B’s. While there may be some problems with many unions, that particular one was what I would call a rogue union and was primarily using pickets as a form of legalized extortion.

      (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
    • Craneguy says:

      Doc Burnstiens picketers was an out of area hall, as a union member I was disgusted by this. Do not use this as a gauge for union membership. I know that the local Carpenters hall cares deeply about this community, business’s and its workers.

      (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
    • Craneguy says:

      UNION WORKERS ARE LOCAL! A GOOD PART OF THE 100 OR SO AT THE MEETING WERE LOCAL.. Doc Burnstiens picketers was an out of area hall, as a union member I was disgusted by this. Do not use this as a gauge for union membership. I know that the local Carpenters hall cares deeply about this community, business’s and its workers.

      ITS NO COINCIDENCE THAT DWINDLING UNIONS ARE COINCIDING WITH DEMISE OF THIS COUNTRY.

      (-2) 10 Total Votes - 4 up - 6 down

Comments are closed.