Labor agreement for Fairfield train station goes before City Council

By July 16, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A project labor agreement – which the City Council at its April 15 meeting directed city staff to negotiate with the Napa-Solano Building Trades Council for the Fairfield Intermodal Station Project – goes before the council Tuesday with a requirement that unions are the source of craft labor for the work.

No employee working under the agreement is required to join any union as a condition of employment on the project, adds a city staff report, but the contractor is required to have employees who work for eight consecutive or cumulative days to pay dues required for union membership.

The Fairfield city staff believes the labor agreement will not have a significant impact on project costs because it’s likely most contractors will be union affiliates.

An objective that not less than 25 percent of hours worked on the project be undertaken by Solano and Napa county residents is included in the agreement.

If a project labor agreement is not approved by the end of July, Fairfield will experience additional delays that could result in loss of funding – unless the City Council directed work to proceed without a project labor agreement, adds the staff report.

Fairfield has described a project labor agreement as a pact with one or more labor organizations establishing terms and conditions of employment for a construction project.

At the City Council meeting in April, a representative of the Napa-Solano Building and Construction Trades Council cited the history of project labor agreements he said have been in place since the 1930s. Projects including the Hoover Dam and the Alaska pipeline have used the pacts, the trades council representative said.

A Central Solano Citizen/Taxpayer Group representative said the association has always objected to such labor agreements and a taxpayers group member said the pacts decrease competition and boost costs.

City Council members meet at 6 p.m. in the chamber at the Civic Center, 1000 Webster St.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 5 comments

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  • Mr.RJuly 15, 2014 - 8:30 am

    Intresting,the unions are railroading the city.

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  • George GuynnJuly 15, 2014 - 10:54 am

    Fairfield doesn't need a train station with one already in Suisun City. That said, I suspect the project will be built anyway. It sure doesn't need a PLA to raise costs and to get rid of competition. A hog needs a side saddle more than the City of Fairfield needs a PLA Agreement!!!!! And guess what, the hog doesn't need a side saddle!

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  • Rick WoodJuly 15, 2014 - 11:54 am

    There is no problem with PLAs per se; the devil is in the details. The Council should be sure the City is getting something worthwhile for the added cost. Non-union contractors should not be aced out if they meet City standards for fair labor practices and local hiring defined in the PLA. Watch out for "poison pills" that effectively prohibit non-union contractors from bidding. The advantage to the City is the trade unions promise not to strike on the project. That can be very important on some projects. But it's not worth giving up too much, with "too much" defined by the Council. If an informed Council is fully satisfied, then a PLA can be a good thing.

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  • CD BrooksJuly 15, 2014 - 12:01 pm

    This is a no-brainer. We know that when the council considers the council does. I'm not certain but I believe the majority of folks here in Fairfield do not want the train station OR the accompanying homes. I believe the Peabody Rd. overpass is key but since they tied them all together, this is what we get. What I'd really like to know is how PD intends to cover that area? Chief Tibbet says we have no resources now. Which frankly, is obvious look around. The council is creating a wider territory for illegal activity knowing that it cannot be controlled. How is that going to improve and when? The money for this project that will allegedly "pay for itself" could have been far better used including making the SS train station and surrounding areas more suitable for all. Not to mention parking and security for the bussing and train systems in both cities.

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  • No PLA needed....July 15, 2014 - 6:09 pm

    I believe FF did a cost study on the use of PLA's back in 2001/2002 time frame and found that, on average, it cost about 15% more to have a PLA than to put the project out to bid. No strike clause? How big of the union. If I were a non-union construction supervisor, I would be telling my workers to get ready, just in case.

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