Reporters for the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper connected the dots and exposed how construction unions are now trying to use project labor agreements to win control of projects in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties (known as the “Inland Empire” region of California).
The March 20, 2010 article “Project Labor Agreements Spark Debate at Three Inland Agencies in One Week” reports that on March 16 the elected boards of three local government agencies in the Inland Empire discussed PLA policies: the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, the Riverside Community College District, and the San Bernardino City Unified School District.
The dean of the U.C. Riverside business school was quoted as saying, “For each side, there are some seemingly rational arguments. But, it’s all about politics.” Years ago, I identified 20 “Axioms on Fighting for the Merit Shop Agenda,” and axiom #5 is “Our issues are about politics, not logic…” Basically, if unions can get control of a majority of votes on an elected board in California, they will push for a union monopoly on future construction regardless of how nonsensical it is or how much it costs the taxpayers.
The article also confirms axiom #11: “Look behind a local politician initiating a push for the union agenda, and you will find ambition for higher office.” Riverside Community College trustee José Medina – a big supporter of the PLA there – is the Democrat challenging Republican incumbent Brian Nestande for the 64th Assembly District seat.
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