Building on the success of similar ordinances passed overwhelmingly with voters in other parts of California, a coalition of merit shop contractors, associations, taxpayer groups, and businesses will unveil today a campaign to ban the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on publicly funded projects in the County and City of Sacramento.  

The Fair and Open Competition measures would make it impossible for special interests to use their influence with elected officials to force workers to join a union as a condition of employment on publicly funded projects.  Typically referred to as “PLAs”, these agreements force workers to pay union dues, pay into union pension plans, and exclude merit shop apprentice explicitly.

“Soon the taxpayers of this great City and County will be free of the waste, fraud, and exclusion associated with PLAs.” said Dina Kimble, a principal with Royal Electric, a Sacramento based electrical contractor. “Once we pass these measures workers will no longer fear they will be excluded or forced to pay for the privilege of working on projects paid for with their own tax dollars.”

Currently union special interests are targeting PLAs on the new $387 million Kings Arena, the $2 billion County Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Project, the $270 million South Sacramento Corridor Phase 2 Regional Transit District Project, and the $6 billion Railyard Development, among other projects.

“Taxpayers have seen millions of dollars wasted on publicly funded projects across our region thanks to these insidious agreements.” said Bob Blymyer with the Sacramento County Taxpayers League. “In these tough economic times it is critical that taxpayers be given the best product at the best price, something that is impossible with a PLA in place.”

Over the past 15 years more than two dozen PLAs have been implemented or attempted on projects in the City and County, including the new SMUD Corporate Yard, the new Sacramento Airport Expansion, and all work currently taking place at Sacramento City Unified School District.     

At this press conference Fair and Open Competition Sacramento will announce that two signature gathering efforts are being kicked off as part of a $1.5 million campaign to end union-only agreements in both the City and County of Sacramento.  Similar bans have been put into place across California including in the County of San Diego where last November 76% of voters approved a PLA-ban.