Not to be outdone by their neighbors in Chula Vista, San Diego residents – led by City Councilman Carl DeMaio – kicked off their campaign to bring fair and open competition to San Diego’s city contracting. Construction stakeholders gathered with Councilman DeMaio to start the drive to gather the 96,000 signatures needed to put the “Competition and Transparency in City Contracts” city charter amendment on the ballot in November 2010.
Project labor agreements (PLAs) came to the forefront in San Diego in the wake of the San Diego Unified School District’s decision to require PLAs on all projects funded by Proposition S, a $2.1 billion bond approved by voters in November 2008.
Here is an excerpt from the San Diego News Network’s coverage of Monday’s press conference:
“This measure imposes clear rules for open and fair contracting within city government,” DeMaio said at a news conference outside City Hall, flanked by about two dozen non-union trade workers.
It would also ban project labor agreements on developments being undertaken by the city, according to DeMaio.
A project labor agreement mandates that government contracts for public construction projects go only to union contractors. There isn’t currently a project labor agreement before the city, but San Diego is exploring several large projects, including a downtown stadium for the Chargers, a new central library, redeveloping City Hall and expanding the Convention Center.
“We need to ensure that if these taxpayer-funded projects do proceed, that all San Diegans are allowed to apply for the jobs that they would create,” DeMaio said.
The event’s speakers included members from Associated Builders and Contractors of San Diego, Associated General Contractors of San Diego, the National Association of Minority Contractors and local apprentices. The apprentices at the event are trained professionals that could be prohibited from working on projects funded by their own tax dollars by government-mandated PLAs.
This event was covered by a number of local news outlets, including: