Wednesday, October 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Time now to block Fairfield train station PLA

By
From page A8 | July 14, 2014 |

The Fairfield City Council is poised Tuesday to hand big-labor special interests a huge victory. Specifically they are set to approve a project labor agreement on the new Fairfield train station.

A project labor agreement is a highly controversial agreement that city staff spent less than 90 days “negotiating” with local union bosses. The agreement will discriminate against the 85 percent of the area construction workforce that is union-free and cost taxpayers dearly, adding at least $10 million to the cost of the project due to fewer companies bidding.

The council at its April 12 meeting unanimously approved the concept of a project labor agreement despite a great deal of public opposition. They directed staff to “negotiate” the agreement with unions (no one else is allowed into these backroom negotiations) and less than three months later they have their “agreement.”

Why so little time to negotiate? Because project labor agreements are boilerplate “agreements” that unions hand a local entity like Fairfield and tell them to sign. Their only purpose is to make it harder if not impossible for local union-free companies, workers and apprentices to get work on projects paid for with their tax dollars. If you have seen one project labor agreement you have seen them all and this agreement is, word for word, a typical project labor agreement.

Four main in provisions that are implicitly discriminatory are at the heart of the agreement. They limit a union-free company to only five of its workers and those workers must all be hired through a union hiring hall. These workers have to pay union dues, fees, and pay into union health, welfare and pension plans despite the fact they will probably never vest in any of those plans and thus that money is lost to them.

State-approved apprentices who are not part of a union, who are taking the same courses and have the same training as union apprentices, are excluded altogether. So a Fairfield resident who happens to be preparing for a future in the trades but chose to get his or her apprenticeship through the state and federally approved Western Electrical Contractors Association is now forbidden from working on this project. I look forward to the City Council explaining that one to the public.

So how do big-labor special interests try to sell such an obviously flawed document? They claim that it will help guarantee “local hires.” But how does that happen when most local construction workers are union-free? Furthermore, how is it that a project labor agreement can mandate that certain people are to be hired while someone who lives 10 yards outside of some arbitrary line drawn on a map can’t work?

The answer is they can’t mandate local hire, which is why this project labor agreement only makes reference to local hire “goals” and those “goals” are laughably that only 25 percent of workers will be “local.” The Solano County Board of Supervisors foolishly approved a project labor agreement on its $58 million Claybank Detention Center project and of the 18 subcontractors who worked on it, exactly zero were from Solano County.

Project labor agreements are simply political tools that politically powerful unions use to hammer their competition in an age where union market share in the industry has dwindled to less than 15 percent. It was more than 90 percent in the 1960s, but while the world has changed the mentality of “the union way or the highway” persists among today’s aging, anachronistic and increasingly unpopular union leadership.

The Fairfield City Council, unfortunately, is poised to approve this scheme and reward union bosses while punishing everyone else on a taxpayer-funded project. These agreements are so unpopular they have been banned in 23 states and 11 entities in California, including America’s eighth largest city, San Diego, where residents in June 2012 voted 58 percent to 42 percent to ban them.

We encourage taxpayers to attend the City Council meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday and express their outrage personally to these elected officials. Should the council still approve the project labor agreement, taxpayers will next have the opportunity to hold those same elected officials accountable come election time. My members and their employees certainly will for such exclusionary and divisive thinking has no place in 2014 America.

To view the project labor agreement for yourself, go to www.fairfield.ca.gov/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=9971.

Eric Christen is executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, a statewide organization dedicated to protecting contractors, workers, apprentices and taxpayers from project labor agreements. Founded in 1998, the organization was based in Fairfield for seven years and now has offices in Sacramento and San Diego.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Crime key topic again at Fairfield candidates night

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 34 Comments | Gallery

 
Logue wins US Chamber of Commerce support

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

 
Dixon corn maze breaks own world record

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

Car washes raising money to fight breast cancer

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield Police Department promotes 2, honors 1

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Families Helping Families preps for holidays

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Charity Tree Auction application deadline nears

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Tots can trick-or-treat at Solano Town Center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
School district to send unneeded items to Belize

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

2 new challenges part of 2014 Solano Turkey Trot

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
PAL center seeks volunteers

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Suisun council splits on housing element changes

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

$1.4M land sale by Fairfield gets OK

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6

 
Solano names new First 5 director

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Action, thriller movies headed to box office

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Oct. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Oct. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Oct. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Oct. 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Assad pursues withering campaign against rebels

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
FBI: Denver girls may have tried to join jihadis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

IS fighters seize weapons cache meant for Kurds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
7 arrested in Oakland raid on Black Muslim Temple

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Stinky seaweed piling up at upscale Laguna Beach

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
California man goes missing during road trip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

2nd guilty plea in California tainted beef case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Golden Gate Bridge officials float sidewalk toll

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

5 Jonestown victims buried in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
New rules adopted in hopes of spurring home loans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Pakistani Nobel laureate honored in Philadelphia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Cadaver dog searches in suspected serial killings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Schools scoured in search for ambush suspect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

AP-GfK Poll: Most expect GOP victory in November

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Freed Vietnamese dissident travels to US: official

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

North Korea frees US man; 2 more still detained

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Brown meets with health care experts about Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

US expands Ebola checks; Rwanda to check Americans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
WHO: Ebola vaccine trials in W. Africa in January

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons: Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Spering kept youth league going

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 11 Comments

Day, Blankenchip good for respective cities

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
‘Misleading’ mailer sent to residents

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Hummus and chocolate together? Deliciously so!

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Easy slow cooker chili that lives up to the hype

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Roasted beets can brighten up any holiday table

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

.

Entertainment

Argentina demands ‘Top Gear’ apology from BBC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
‘S.H.I.E.L.D’ fans push for Coulson/May romance

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

From Kors to DVF, fashion mourns de la Renta

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

Local report: Vikings earn 3-0 SCAC volleyball win over Wolves

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
SJS releases season’s first wins list

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bumgarner, Giants stop Royals 7-1 in Series opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bruins hold off Sharks to win 5-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Logano: No worries about retaliation from Patrick

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Shaw shoulders blame for Stanford’s slide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Fighters suing Mayweather over Vegas cable TV bout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers lose center Daniel Kilgore, needs surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Raiders plagued by 3rd-down defensive woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

For a young Mexican golf star, seeing helps him believe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Newman dodges penalty for Talladega inspection

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

WS Game 2 starters Ventura, Peavy study in contrasts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Hats off! Royals get old-timey with tip o’ the hat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

KC, San Fran mayors announce World Series wager

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Ezeli returns as Warriors beat Clippers 125-107

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Buster’s back: Posey tries to add 3rd Series ring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
AP sources: Rice’s appeal hearing set for Nov. 5-6

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Kings GM: NHL should educate after Voynov’s arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Broncos are still No. 1 in AP Pro32 rankings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius gets 5 years in prison

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Google’s streaming music service adds mood to mix

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
5 problems McDonald’s is facing in the US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

New efforts to ban tobacco farm child labor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Total CEO killed in Moscow runway crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

China economy grows at slowest pace in 5 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Rufina Ferrer Levengood

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6