The Young Black Contractors Association filed a $500 million claim against the county of Los Angeles Monday for its alleged failure to enforce federal and state laws and its own project labor agreement and construction careers policy with respect to the employment of African-Americans on construction projects throughout the county.
The claim, which is the legally required precursor to a formal lawsuit, is specifically aimed at the county Board of Supervisors and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Filed by attorney Reginald P. Mason, the claim specifically charges MTA of abetting "prime contractors' systemic and continuous violation of its own [labor agreements and policies] and federal and state laws that give rise to claims for fraud, waste and abuse, including but not limited to false and deceptive business practices under California's Business Professions Code."
With the Oxnard Union High School District trying to build a Camarillo school in time for the fall 2015 semester, the school board is selecting a contractor without going through the traditional bidding process.
The board Wednesday night unanimously approved a lease/lease-back plan to build Rancho Campana High School in Camarillo.
State law allows school districts to use this funding mechanism of leasing property to a contractor and then leasing it back. School officials estimate this method will increase the cost of the project about 5 percent.
Lack of Blacks Hired on Phase I of Crenshaw Rail Project
The Metro Transportation Authority (MTA) pledged significant African American participation during the construction phase of the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor and also signed a project labor agreement to ensure that Blacks received adequate employment representation, but contractors have drastically under performed in the hiring of African Americans in the first phase of the Crenshaw Advanced Utilities Relocation PLA for Targeted Worker Attainment.
According to MTA internal documents obtained by the Sentinel, which revealed the number of individual hires, Blacks ranked lower than any other demographic group.
The board of education of the Lynwood Unified School District (LUSD) voted unanimously to enter into a Project Labor Agreement (PLA), with the Building and Construction Trade Council of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, the Signatory Craft Councils and Unions, organizations that represent laborers from the construction industry.
"This PLA mandates that 30 percent of Measure K construction jobs go directly to workers who live in Lynwood and in our surrounding communities," said board member José Luis Solache, according to a press release said. "This is a win-win situation because we're boosting our local economy while building quality projects that are long overdue."
Last November, Measure K passed with a yes vote of over 57 percent. The measure provides Lynwood Unified with funds to refurbish school facilities within the district. The measure allows the LUSD to issue $93 million in general obligation bonds, for the purpose of raising funds for the remodeling of school facilities.
LOS ANGELES, Jan 07, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The developer of The New Wyvernwood has reached a historic project labor agreement (PLA) with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, a major step forward for the $2 billion mixed-use redevelopment proposed for Boyle Heights.
The agreement between Fifteen Group and the Trades Council creates an important framework for the redevelopment effort, which will revitalize the aging Wyvernwood complex with modern new workforce housing, much-needed retail offerings and significant open space.
"This is a rock-solid commitment to support unionized construction workers at The New Wyvernwood," said Mark Sanders, Fifteen Group principal and co-founder. "We have a bold and award-winning vision to transform an aging property into one of the great urban redevelopments in the country, and we're proud to have the Los Angeles Construction Trades Council as our partner."
PRESIDENT Obama has repeatedly called on companies to "step up" and increase hiring. Specifically, he has said, "The issue here is not uncertainty. The issue is they've got to start placing their bets on America" and that "It's time for companies to step up."
With one month of dismal job reports after another coming from the government, it can be expected that there will be no change in this reality between now and the election. But what the president should be asking is why, three full years after his "Recovery Summer," are we experiencing the worst economic recovery since World War II and now stand on the threshold of another recession?
Something the president seems not to understand is that there is one big reason there are 25 million Americans either unemployed or underemployed, and five workers for every one new job opening: government. Specifically, it's the economic distortions that government at all levels imposes on the marketplace that keeps employers from wanting to engage in additional hiring.
A proposal for the Port of Long Beach to approve a port-wide project labor agreement (PLA), considered a highly controversial subject among both union and non-union construction firms, opened up a political firestorm at the harbor commission's June 7 special meeting.
A PLA typically is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement between either private or public entities and locally established construction trade unions. The agreement typically imposes certain contract provisions, such as lawful compensation and health benefits, meeting work completion dates and no strikes or work stoppages.
PLAs also may require contractors to provide apprenticeships and have a local hiring goal, depending on whether funding comes from state or federal government sources.
LONG BEACH - A crowd that included dozens of workers, contractors and City Council representatives packed the Port of Long Beach Harbor Commission boardroom Thursday as the panel discussed expanding the use of union-supported labor deals.
The commission was considering a proposal to use project labor agreements, or PLAs, in a port-wide and project-specific basis.
PLAs allow any contractor, union and not, to bid on various phases of a public works project, but require the winning bidder to follow a set of guidelines favored by unions, including a wage and benefit package, a dispute and arbitration process, and funding for health care and workers' compensation.
COMMERCE, Calif., May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Labor agreement will ensure that all district projects will have positive economic impacts in Southeast Los Angeles
The Central Basin Municipal Water District Board of Directors signed a project labor agreement today with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council (Construction Trades Council). The agreement codifies the District's longstanding practice to hire local workers whenever possible and ensures that all Central Basin projects will financially benefit the southeast Los Angeles communities served by the District.
"This labor agreement will enhance the welfare of our entire region and it will guarantee that qualified local workers have first priority on these projects," said Central Basin Board President Ed Vasquez. "This is an important day not just for us, but for every local family that we pledged to represent on this Board."
LONG BEACH The team bidding to design and build a replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge came one step closer to that goal Monday.
The Port of Long Beach Harbor Commission approved a "notice of intent" to award a $649.5 million contract for the project to the joint venture team that includes Shimmick Construction Co. Inc., FCC Construction S.A., Impregilo S.p.A., Arup North America Ltd. and Biggs Cardosa Associates Inc.
Monday's vote is a precursor to the actual awarding of the contract, expected in late June.
"Today is a historic day," said Harbor Commissioner Rich Dines. "I am honored to be here and I am very thrilled that it is the consortium with Shimmick Construction that has come in as the lowest bidder but the highest technical score."