On June 5th, policy will converge with politics in San Diego as voters decide whether or not to continue allowing project labor agreements on city-funded projects. Similar bans are already in place in Oceanside, Chula Vista, and the County of San Diego.
As part of the on-going discussion, Eric Christen, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction sat down with Lorena Gonzales, the CEO for the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, for a debate on NBC San Diego.
The five-minute conversation covered a number of the most common and pervasive arguments on either side of the debate. Christen made the claims that PLAs unnecessarily increase the cost of projects by limiting competition. Gonzales responded that PLAs provide security and certainty on projects that result in cost savings.
The issues raised weren’t necessarily new, however they are being discussed under the pallor of a new law signed by Governor Brown.
The State Assembly and Senate, which support the use of PLAs, approved SB 922 which banned the banning of Project Labor Agreements. That legislation immediately nullified any PLA bans in general law cities. In charter cities, like San Diego, where the state does not have authority over municipal affairs, the state has threatened to cut the purse strings.
Under SB 922, the state will withhold funding on projects in any city, county, or special district with a project labor agreement ban on their books.
Gonzales said during the debate that SB 922 could result in a huge loss of funding for the city of San Diego.
Currently, there are campaigns in the city of San Diego, as well as the city and county of Sacramento, to ban PLAs. These are the first of such efforts since SB 922 took effect. is the first major push for a new PLA ban after the law took effect.
View more videos at: http://nbcsandiego.com.