The taxpayers of California and many of our cities are being ripped off by a conspiracy between unions and the politicians they elected.

“With a PLA in place, even if non-union carpenters and contractors win a local government construction job, carpenters are required to join a union, or companies have to hire other union workers, driving up the costs of public projects, says Dayton.


Extensive research on school construction in California from 1996 through 2008, along with a study released in July by National University in San Diego shows that Project Labor Agreements cut bid competition, resulting in project cost increases that are 13 percent to 15 percent higher. In contrast, Dayton and Christen say that open competition policies achieve the goals listed in the proposed ballot measure for Sacramento:”

Extortionist unions, forcing people to pay them a bribe or they are not allowed to work, is the most corrupt form of government.  The power of government is used to allow unions to steal from workers.

In San Diego and Sacramento, the people have revolted.  Both cities will have ballot measures to stop government mandated theft of the worker.

Why is California in a Depression–the extortion of its workers and government use of force to allow it.


By KATY GRIMES, Cal Watchdog,  12/27/11
Seeking to end mandatory Project Labor Agreements on public-works projects in Sacramento, nine boxes containing more than 49,000 signed petitions were delivered Tuesday morning to the Sacramento City Clerk for a ballot measure.
After spending the last several months gathering signatures to place the “Fair and Open Competition” measure on the June 2012 ballot, Eric Christen with the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, and Kevin Dayton, state government affairs director for the Associated Builders and Contractors of California, filed the petitions with the city of Sacramento. The ballot measure would ban the city from using the union labor agreements on city projects, and instead, allow open bidding in order to achieve the best quality for the best price, for public contracts funded by taxpayers.
Christen and Dayton collected a total of 49,259 signatures, but only needed 32,800. They have already successfully qualified ‘The Fair and Open Competition’ measure for the city of San Diego on the June 2012 ballot.
Why Ban Project Labor Agreements?
The city of Sacramento currently requires Project Labor Agreements for all public projects. But according to Dayton and Christen, PLAs inflate the cost of construction significantly, and cost taxpayers more money on public projects.
Labor organizations claim that PLAs are merely “a contract between a government agency and trades unions that establish the work conditions and management rights for a construction project.” But Dayton and Christen say that Project Labor Agreements suppress the competition rights of small businesses, and infringe on a local governments’ ability to use free-market, non-union construction labor.
And the extra funds help beef up the coffers of the highly politicized labor unions in the state.
With a PLA in place, even if non-union carpenters and contractors win a local government construction job, carpenters are required to join a union, or companies have to hire other union workers, driving up the costs of public projects, says Dayton.
Extensive research on school construction in California from 1996 through 2008, along with a study released in July by National University in San Diego shows that Project Labor Agreements cut bid competition, resulting in project cost increases that are 13 percent to 15 percent higher. In contrast, Dayton and Christen say that open competition policies achieve the goals listed in the proposed ballot measure for Sacramento:
* Offer job opportunities for contracts funded by the people to the largest possible pool of local qualified workers;
* Maximize the number of capable and responsible bidders for contracts funded by the people;
* Obtain the best quality work at the best price for contracts funded by the people.
Ballot Initiatives In Other Cities
While labor unions may appear to be making a surge in California, in September, the Fair and Open Competition ballot initiative qualified for San Diego, well ahead of the deadline, and with far more signatures than necessary.
In June 2010, 56 percent of voters in the city of Chula Vista approved a Fair and Open Competition ordinance, and 54 percent of voters in the city of Oceanside approved a charter containing a Fair and Open Competition provision.
“This ballot initiative is about having a personal choice. It is an anti-establishment proposal,” said Dayton.
Notably, one-in-four voters in the city of Sacramento signed the petition.
Legislature and Governor Intervene
In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 922, by state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Montclair, to end “fair and open competition” policies, and terminate any Project Labor Agreement bans enacted by city and county governments. Brown even included a signing message in which he proclaimed the bill to be “fair” and “democratic.”
He said, “In fact, this bill preserves the right of all sides to debate what obviously is a hotly contested issue. Seems fair to me — even democratic.”
But SB 922 was rushed through the Legislature in a most undemocratic way, with undemocratic results.
Written only one week before it was eventually passed, SB 922 will actually do the opposite of what Brown’s signing message said. It suppresses the competition rights of small businesses and infringes on local governments’ ability to use free-market, non-union construction labor. And it’s already mandated by the state that all employees must receive union wages and benefits, even if they are not union members, when working on public projects.
“The state know-it-alls took it out of the people’s hands. But now people will have a choice, and the city government can’t tell you what to do,” said Christen.
Sacramento is a charter city, as are 120 other California cities. Charter cities can decide on local bidding and contracts without state interference. However, counties are not allowed this same discretion – the state dictates labor agreements to counties.
Pro-Labor Opposition
A Dec. 22 story in the Sacramento News & Review exposed how pro-labor activists have been harassing the open competition signature gatherers. “On Sunday, they got petition workers booted from in front of the Save Mart Supermarket on Folsom Boulevard. Then it was off to the WalMart on Truxel Road where the pro-union folks handed out flyers and held signs saying, ‘This person will lie to you’ with large arrows, strategically positioned to point at the signature gatherers. You know, kind of an ‘I’m with stupid’ thing,” the SN&R reported.
Dayton and Christen said that there were many other incidents with pro-labor activists during the signature gathering, requiring police assistance.
The Next Step

The city clerk conducts a raw count, and then delivers the petitions to Sacramento County, where the signatures will be verified using a 3 percent random sample method. From the date of filing, they have 30 days to complete the verification.
Once a receipt is received from Sacramento County, the city clerk will issue a “certificate of sufficiency” and place the issue on the next agenda of the city council. The city council selects an election date.
From there, Christen and Dayton expect several resolutions for this agenda item, including a calendar of dates for ballot arguments and the city attorney’s impartial analysis.
Knowing the big-labor opponents they are up against, Dayton and Christen anticipate pre-election challenges to the initiative.

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