CURRENT NEWS

With multimillion-dollar construction projects on track at Cuesta College in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, college leaders have decided not to limit what types of firms could be hired to complete the work using money from a voter-approved $275 million bond measure.

By consensus, the Cuesta College Board of Trustees decided Wednesday not to pursue a project-labor agreement for bond measure-funded projects – meaning that union as well as non-union firms could be hired to complete the work.

The board decided its current process for awarding contracts for construction projects is fair and equitable, and no change was needed, board President Patrick Mullen said. No official vote was taken.

At a meeting earlier this month, the Cuesta College Board of Trustees took the following actions to move the district forward with Measure L projects:

More than 100 people attended Wednesday’s Cuesta College Board of Trustees meeting to voice their opinion over whether contractors hired to do the jobs should be required to hire union workers.

In November, San Luis Obispo County voters approved a $275 million bond measure to be used to fund campus construction and remodeling projects. Cuesta College is required to pay prevailing wage regardless of whether or not it utilizes union workers.

OPINION 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.

Cuesta College trustees took a significant step forward Wednesday on ambitious plans to make repairs and upgrades at its two campuses, but they left undecided a larger question about whether union workers should do the work.

Trustees voted to issue up to $75 million in bonds — about 27 percent of the $275 million bond measure approved by San Luis Obispo County voters in November.

The money will pay for various repair, construction and upgrade projects at the college’s Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo campuses.

About 150 people — union and nonunion workers — showed up to debate whether Cuesta College should pursue a project labor agreement, which would stipulate that nearly all work must be done by firms that hire union workers.

Want to know why the growth of government is the greatest threat to our future?

The latest example is a grant that came from the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which gave almost $5 million dollars to the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transit Agency (MTC) in order to carry out the socialist dictates of a plan entitled the “Bay Area Regional Prosperity Plan.”

This Thursday in Redwood City, a coalition of “community organizations”–many of which are front groups for the socialist labor movement, including churches, social justice and living wage nonprofits, unions, local governments, housing collaboratives, and others who profit off the massive, growing labor-poverty-government industrial complex—are hosting one of their 5 launch meetings for their “Regional Economic Prosperity Strategy.

You might think that sounds harmless, even beneficial–and you’d be right if they were advocating for less government restriction to unleash the power of the free market.

But they’re not. And they’re not doing it with their money. They are lobbying our state and local government with our tax dollars handed over by agencies of our federal government.

Yes, that’s right. Government is using money funneled through an innocuous-sounding grant to advocate for the following (and these are just a few of the juicy ones):

90….Organize and professionalize industries to improve wages, benefits and career ladders. (So now the government is now officially in the business of subsidizing the unionization of entire industries?)

93. Remove barriers to unionization.  (Really? Shouldn’t the goal of an effort at creating prosperity be to remove barriers to economic growth so that companies can prosper, expand and hire more workers?)

95. Enacting living wage ordinances. (Translation: Force private businesses to pay above-market wages to compensate some individuals while reducing opportunity for others.)

96. Passing prevailing wage ordinances. (Make government contracts for services such as janitors and security guards as grossly overpriced for taxpayers as public works projects are now.)

97. Establishing project labor agreements (PLAs). (Force all those wishing to work on a project to join a union, and legally discriminate against smaller contractors, who are usually non-union and might be willing to work for less, costing the public more.)

Yet what’s so bad about wanting economic security? Isn’t prosperity desirable?

Sure, but the key is in how you achieve it.

If you wake up one morning and decide you are going to rob a bank because you can’t find work, that might get you prosperity, but it’s illegal and could also get you 20 years behind bars.

By robbing a bank, you put the lives and economic prosperity of others in jeopardy, and that’s immoral. You wouldn’t steal your neighbor’s car either, but why is it OK if the government robs your neighbor’s business by forcing him to pay a “living wage” instead of whatever the market will bear?

Theft is theft, even if the government is the agent of it.

At its core, this is really a moral question.

Is it moral for the government to take from those according to their ability and give to those according to their needs?” Karl Marx thought so, and pushed for a fully communist society, in which the government controlled everything–all means of production–and where every individual belonged to and was dependent on the state.

That’s economic servitude—slavery—the antithesis of freedom.

And yet, little by little, California is funding this socialist labor movement, so that outcomes are equalized and controlled by the government.

It all started with a coalition of governmental bodies who crafted a regional plan entitled Plan Bay Area.  It is a blueprint to implement “social justice” initiatives disguised as a pathway to prosperity, which empower unelected “regional” bureaucrats to dictate what you can do with your property, your business and your capital.

By forcing Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s) on every public project–and pushing for more public projects as a means of “job creation” for “low and middle wage” workers–all job creation is put at risk.

It is ironic that by instituting PLA’s, the bureaucrats almost guarantee that those jobs will never go to any of the people they claim they want to help; those jobs will be parceled out by powerful unions in union halls based on seniority, not need.

Pushing for “living wage” ordinances might sound noble, but it’s not government’s job to fix prices for labor or anything else. In order to give that raise to someone by legislative fiat, you must first take that money from the business owner.

In a completely free market, If you don’t work, you don’t eat. And being hungry is a powerful motivator.  It forces you to learn new skills in order to meet the demands of the market.

If you believe that government ought to keep its hands out of your pockets, and stick to its proper role–which is protecting our right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”; securing our borders; maintaining infrastructure; and achieving a handful of other things enumerated in the Constitution–then you cannot be silent in the face of an attempt to seize what little freedom you have left.

Breitbart

More than a thousand supporters of California High Speed Rail filled the barren lot of what is supposed to become a multistory train station in Fresno today for a symbolic groundbreaking.

Nearly two years after construction was supposed to start, and more than six years after voters approved a bond to help fund California high speed rail, state and local leaders met in Fresno’s historic Chinatown today to mark the start of the project’s construction.

 

January 07, 2015

Associated Press

 

California broke ground Tuesday on its $68 billion high-speed rail system, promising to combat global warming while whisking travelers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than three hours.

The bullet train project, the first in the nation to get underway, faces challenges from Republican cost-cutters in Congress and Central Valley farmers suing to keep the rails off their fields. Others doubt the state can deliver the sleek system as designed, and worry it will become an expensive failure.

But Gov. Jerry Brown said high-speed rail is essential to meeting his latest goal: Encouraging the nation's most populous state to get half its power from renewable energy by 2030.

"It's not that expensive. We can afford it. In fact, we cannot NOT afford it," Brown said before signing a symbolic section of rail. "All these projects are a little touch and go. You'll have these critics say 'why spend all this money?'"

Janelle Bludau

January 7, 2015

Dozens of protestors were outside Tuesday's High-Speed Rail Groundbreaking holding signs and expressing their anger towards the project, calling on the city to "Stop the Train."

Ten year old Anna Dayton said she already knows what the new high speed rail will mean for her.

"My friends and I are going to have to pay for this when we grow up," Dayton said.

Dozens, including Anna were out protesting Tuesday's groundbreaking, expressing their frustrations over the controversial project.

"I mean if you think about all of the transportation that we already have, all of this money could be going to better causes," protestor Samantha Arteno said.

Some said the High-Speed Rail Authority has already crossed too many boundaries.

"They had to hop the fence. We didn't give them permission. They sawed off the ladder and covered those doors," Protestor with Chinatown Revitalization Kathy

Omachi said.

Thursday, 08 January 2015 17:49

State clears SD on labor rules

Conflict over union wages could have cost city many millions

David Garrick 

January 8, 2014

DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO — State officials confirmed Thursday that San Diego averted a potential financial crisis last fall by declaring that the city can make special wage agreements with labor groups on certain construction projects.

City officials expressed confidence in October that the declaration, approved unanimously by the City Council, would preserve their eligibility for millions in state funding.

Page 1 of 85