CURRENT NEWS

Wednesday, 05 November 2014 12:28

Labor issue, data stall tunnel approval

The biggest water project in the Salinas Valley in many decades will have to wait a couple of weeks for a green light because of a labor controversy and multiple requests for more data on cost estimates of the $48 million Interlake Tunnel.

The project that would add billions of gallons of stored water from winter rains in the Salinas Valley ran afoul of quick approval Tuesday during a joint meeting of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and the county Water Resources Agency Board of Directors.

Wednesday, 05 November 2014 04:19

Debate over Interlake Tunnel project rages on

 

Assemblyman, county water GM at odds over labor rules

Sacramento - Sacramento area unions will be running a victory lap today as they break ground on the new $400+ million Sacramento Kings Arena at 11:30am in downtown Sacramento. Why? Because the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) they forced the owners to sign using environmental extortion will govern who can work on the project all but guaranteeing non-union workers, apprentices, and contractors are discriminated against. 

"The unions have achieved quite a victory here, one that allows their non-competitive trades to bid this project without the worry of non-union competitors actually beating them out for the work." said Eric Christen, executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction (CFEC). "When you can use the threat of environmental extortion using the CEQA process as shameless as these union bosses do and then get rewarded for it you have really achieved something."

For more than a year the Kings Arena PLA was sought after by CFEC and others who believed that a document covering a project, more than half of which uses public monies to build it, should be public. But the City of Sacramento and Turner Construction, no doubt embarrassed by its exclusionary provisions, played a game of keep away until just last week when CFEC attained a copy of it. 

When you click on the Arena PLA you will see that it is standard PLA fare including these key provisions: 

  • The Arena PLA requires non-union companies to pay their workers' health and welfare benefits to union trust funds, even though these companies have their own benefit plans.  Companies thus have to pay benefits twice: once to the union and once to the company plan.  Workers never see any of their benefits sent to the unions unless they decide to leave their non-union employer and remain with the union until vested. Worse, contractors could now be held liable for union trust funds that are underfunded.
  • The Arena PLA requires non-union companies to obtain their workers from union hiring halls.  This means that a non-union company has to send its workers to the union hiring hall and hope that the union sends the same workers back. In addition, this provides unions with the opportunity to dispatch "salts" (paid union organizers) with conflicts of interest in employment to non-union companies. 
  • PLAs require non-union companies to obtain apprentices exclusively from union apprenticeship programs.  Participants in state-approved non-union apprenticeship programs cannot work on a job covered by a PLA.  This means that young people enrolled in non-union apprenticeship programs can find themselves excluded from work in their hometowns.
  • Non-union workers must pay union dues and fees or join a union.

CFEC and others who stand by the rights of all workers, apprentices and contractors look forward to area media finally pointing out not only how this PLA came about but what it specifically says and what it does to those who aren't favored by union special interests. 

The board of Port Commissioners announced the selection of RIDA Development Corp. to enter negotiations to develop a destination resort and convention center on the Chula Vista Bayfront.

RIDA, with U.S. headquarters in Houston, was the successful respondent to the San Diego Unified Port District’s request for qualifications issued in June 2014 to build a planned hotel and convention center.

The California Supreme Court turned down the request to review the High-Speed Rail case. Is it the end of the world for the opponents of the project? Short answer, no.

Judge Quentin Kopp predicted last month that the State Supreme Court would deny review at this time. He thought it was premature since the Appellate court allowed the Authority to delay compliance of very specific stipulations of Prop 1A at the time of the second funding plan just before spending bond funds. After learning of the court’s decision, Kopp’s new prediction is the Supreme Court will take the case later if actions were challenged at the time of the second funding plan.

Sacramento - Sacramento area unions will be running a victory lap today as they break ground on the new $400+ million Sacramento Kings Arena at 11:30am in downtown Sacramento. Why? Because the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) they forced the owners to sign using environmental extortion will govern who can work on the project all but guaranteeing non-union workers, apprentices, and contractors are discriminated against. 

"The unions have achieved quite a victory here, one that allows their non-competitive trades to bid this project without the worry of non-union competitors actually beating them out for the work." said Eric Christen, executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction (CFEC). "When you can use the threat of environmental extortion using the CEQA process as shameless as these union bosses do and then get rewarded for it you have really achieved something."

By STEVE ADAMEKWednesday, October 22, 2014

The board of Port Commissioners announced the selection of RIDA Development Corp. to enter negotiations to develop a destination resort and convention center on the Chula Vista Bayfront.

Ian McDonald

March 6, 2014 

There’s been standing room only for Kings’ games, but Thursday was the first standing room only crowd for those who want to get in the game of building a new throne for Sacramento’s NBA team.

They’re contractors – passionate about what they do.

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