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San Diego to require union labor at new airport
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It's great to see governments cave to special interests.
Public projects already require all labor to be priced at union levels.
Now San Diego has said F- it, everyone has to belong to the union.
Glad I'm not involved in California construction anymore.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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I agree...but with some comments.
I have worked for a general contractor in commercial construction now for 27 years, jobs in the 20M- 300-M, and work the Los Angeles area only. We have two branches, a union arm and a non-union arm. We also preform our own concrete work, and do that as a sub in San Diego. We will for sure going after some of that airport work.

But the union vs. non-union issue, I have mixed feelings. I am at the management level, and work mainly on our union jobs. When occasionally I have to go to the non-union side, I want to slit my wrists. Union companies are heads above the non-union ones in quality, professionalism, experience, every aspect of running a business. The union subcontractors all have been properly trained, they understand safety protocol, they have extensive experience, and the management side gets the business aspect of running a company. Now not all non-union subs are derelict, but most are. The nature of the non-union job is price, almost exclusively, so the non-union sub starts off behind the eight ball. It is obvious when 20 new dudes show up to install tile or whatever, and they are obviously right off the street. I could go on for ten pages describing the differences.

But being forced to go union, that I do not agree with.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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Project labor agreements like this are not uncommon.

As you pointed out, the projects already require that any contractor subject to prevailing wage laws. What PLAs essentially do is that any contractor or subcontractor on the project has to sign at least a project specific agreement with the applicable trade union. It doesn't significantly increase the price of the project, but it does ensure that the project gets completed without any work stoppages or labor unrest, things that can significantly increase the cost.

I'm not a fan of labor unions nor of prevailing wage laws, but give that the two are facts, a project labor agreement is a reasonable response from the government agency.

And no, this doesn't mean that "everyone has to belong to the union."
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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Has the Mafia infiltrated southern California?

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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [Bleucheese] [ In reply to ]
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But being forced to go union, that I do not agree with.

They are only being required to sign a project union agreement, which is specific to that project only.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [mck414] [ In reply to ]
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mck414 wrote:
Has the Mafia infiltrated southern California?

Perhaps, but this isn't an example of it.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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I've nothing to add other than anecdotal info from being an engineer at a multi billion dollar build in a work-at-will state.....the stories above about professionalism seem true. We've got some tales to tell, including ones starting as early as site safety training and the drug test.

I've never, even at a corporate lab office for a pee test, seen a sign up that said "do not make a bowel movement after you urinate for your test". How stupid can you be?

This construction site....you betcha.
This site......energy drinks banned........you betcha. There's stories to go with that also.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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In this case, they are requiring all contractors to be signatory. That is joining the union in my book.
In my market, unions are not strong and many craftsmen have forsake unions because they get to keep more of their pay.
I do not notice a difference between open shop or union contractors here (TX).
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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Bumble Bee wrote:
In this case, they are requiring all contractors to be signatory. That is joining the union in my book.
In my market, unions are not strong and many craftsmen have forsake unions because they get to keep more of their pay.
I do not notice a difference between open shop or union contractors here (TX).

It's highly unlikely that they're being required to become anything but a signatory for the duration of the project. There's a slight chance that they may be required to sign on to recognize the respective union for other projects, but if that were the case, the recognition could subsequently be withdrawn once the project was over and the other terms had expired. In this regard, it should be noted that the construction industry is different, in that the law allows an employer in that industry to recognize a union despite the fact that a majority of employees have not selected the union as their representative. But on the flip side, unless a construction employer has recognized a union as the majority representative, it can also withdraw recognition relatively easily.

I also suspect that for something like an airport project, there are not that many non-union contractors here who would be capable of submitting a complaint bid.

In California, and while not always true, there's general a big difference in the quality of labor you get from a union versus a non-union construction contractor, especially when you're looking a contractors who have to capacity to take on a large project.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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As someone who owned a construction company, I would not bid a job that required me to be signatory. Therefore even if it was for a project, I would pass.

I'm aware of double breasted, two gates, etc.

I'm surprised that unions could possibly provide cost effective work with jurisdictional disputes which are flat out ridiculous.
I think someone pointed out a reason for the PLA in this case is fear of work stoppages and that is certainly a reason being stated for this project. That also points to the inefficiencies of unions.
I grew up in the Rust Belt and remember getting taunted as a little kid by picketers when all we were doing was going to the company park.
I also quite enjoyed my first construction project where union pipefitters would yell "rat go home!". I was happy to be buds with the nonunion ironworkers even though nothing came of it. So, yeah, I have a skewed opinion of unions and am not fond of their strongarming tactics.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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Wait, what new airport?
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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As someone who owned a construction company, I would not bid a job that required me to be signatory. Therefore even if it was for a project, I would pass.

I think the primary criticism of project labor agreements is that they do exactly what you described -- drive out competition. There are those non-union contractors who will still bid and sign for the project, because they recognize that being a signatory isn't that big of a deal since it would be limited to that project only. But there are those who still won't bid for a number of reasons, perhaps because they don't want employees out of the hiring hall, perhaps because they think it's a camel's nose in the tent, perhaps because they don't want the paperwork, perhaps they're concerned about unfunded liability re trusts, and perhaps they just have a gut reaction to unions.

I'm surprised that unions could possibly provide cost effective work with jurisdictional disputes which are flat out ridiculous.

Well, a PLA avoids any jurisdictional dispute or at least contains a mechanism for easily resolving one if it pops up, and a jurisdictional dispute would not surprising on a large project without a PLA. (You understand that even without a PLA, a good number if not most contractors that are capable of bidding on a large project in CA will still be union.)

On a public works project in CA, most contractors will be subject to the prevailing wage, which will pretty much be the same as union scale. (The prevailing wage also takes into consideration contributions to various trust funds.) So for the most part, labor costs will be the similar regardless of whether you're union. A PLA doesn't change that.


I think someone pointed out a reason for the PLA in this case is fear of work stoppages and that is certainly a reason being stated for this project. That also points to the inefficiencies of unions.

I was the one who pointed to that, but I'm not sure how it speaks to the inefficiencies of unions. (Not that I disagree about them being inefficient.) Again, on a large public works project, most of the contractors in CA will be union regardless of the PRA. Without a PRA, the project runs the risk of a work stoppage to protest the use of a non-union contractor. I'm not sure that's inefficient, just the unions exercising their clout. But from the government's perspective, the PRA works to avoid this.

Like I said above, I'm no fan of unions (although I try to be reasonable about them and recognize that they have some positive impacts) nor of prevailing wages. But given the state of nature, PRAs often make sense.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:
Wait, what new airport?

That's what I was thinking. I live in South OC and don't necessarily pay attention to things that happen in San Diego. But I'd think I would have at least heard of this at some point.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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Jurisdictional disputes are the main inefficiencies I was pointing out. I know most of CA is union (Sacto probably the rare open shop region).

I guess unions trigger me like Trump, AOC, etc triggers others.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [timboricki] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, I live in San Diego and there's been no buzz about a new airport in the last year or so.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [AlanShearer] [ In reply to ]
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I also suspect that for something like an airport project, there are not that many non-union contractors here who would be capable of submitting a complaint bid.

Sounds like the reasoning used for Haliburton and Blackwater.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [trail] [ In reply to ]
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Same airport, just renovation of Terminal 1 https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/...ect-labor-agreement/

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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [efernand] [ In reply to ]
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efernand wrote:
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I also suspect that for something like an airport project, there are not that many non-union contractors here who would be capable of submitting a complaint bid.


Sounds like the reasoning used for Haliburton and Blackwater.

or not
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [trail] [ In reply to ]
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trail wrote:
Yeah, I live in San Diego and there's been no buzz about a new airport in the last year or so.
I'm in construction so I see these things before the media. $1B renovation and expansion.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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Bumble Bee wrote:
Jurisdictional disputes are the main inefficiencies I was pointing out. I know most of CA is union (Sacto probably the rare open shop region).

I guess unions trigger me like Trump, AOC, etc triggers others.

Outside of San Francisco, the public sector, certain industries like the ports and grocery workers, and construction trades for larger projects, most of CA is definitely not union. Los Angeles and San Diego have never been considered union towns.
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Re: San Diego to require union labor at new airport [Bumble Bee] [ In reply to ]
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Bumble Bee wrote:
I'm in construction so I see these things before the media. $1B renovation and expansion.

Yeah, that expansion has been public record for a while. The "new airport" in the subject line made me think you were talking about an actual new airport. Over the past decade or so there have attempts by the City to find a place for an actual new airport, e.g. kicking the Marines out of Miramar or using land in Chula Vista or Oceanside. You had me excited for a second. This is just laying down some new linoleum in Terminal 1. :)
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