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California Union Rebuke (Read More…)

Voters rebel against project labor deals that raise costs.

This year’s growing revolt against government excess is resulting in all sorts of political surprises, and a pair of examples in southern California deserve more attention. The San Diego suburb of Chula Vista, where 61% of voters broke for Barack Obama in 2008, voted last week to prohibit the city from bowing to union demands. The city of Oceanside, also near San Diego and which also went for Mr. Obama in 2008, passed a similar measure with 54%.

By 56% to 43%, Chula Vista voted in favor of Proposition G, which bans project labor agreements. These rules let unions pre-emptively set the terms for municipal construction projects, such as requiring the contractors to consent to union representation, special benefits or pay collectively bargained wage rates. Such agreements increase taxpayer costs as competitive bidding between union and open shops is suppressed. From Boston’s Big Dig to the San Francisco airport, if it’s a project with egregious cost overruns, a project labor agreement is probably involved

Voters knew firsthand how costly and destructive this favoritism could be. In 2006, the developer Gaylord Entertainment announced plans to build a hotel and convention center in Chula Vista, only to cancel the project after two years in part because of union intransigence. With unemployment somewhere in the double-digits and cities statewide worried about bankruptcy, project labor agreements were an indulgence Chula Vista could no longer afford.


Posted by Admin on 06/22 at 09:40 AM