Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) San Diego Chapter President Scott Crosby pressed Secretary-Treasurer and CEO for the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council Lorena Gonzalez to “come out and say” the real reason that their organization is opposing Chula Vista’s Proposition G, which would allow fair and open competition for city construction projects by prohibiting wasteful and discriminatory project labor agreements (PLAs), during a debate held on April 7.
Here are some excerpts from the San Diego Newsroom’s coverage of the debate:
The ordinance never actually mentions project labor agreements, Crosby pointed out. But it does explicitly prohibit the city from participating in any way, shape or form in “an agreement between a Labor organization, on the one hand, and the City, the Contracting Party, or any third party on the other.”
And while Gonzalez exasperated over Crosby’s nit-picking, Crosby repeatedly pressed her to “come out and say” the real reason unions are against Prop. G.
“You can figure out what this is really about,” he told the crowd as Gonzalez again denied an ulterior motive.
The crowd matched Gonzalez and Crosby’s spirit: Derisive laughter and retorts sounded from opponents in the audience when Crosby insisted that ABC was not anti-union, and again when Gonzalez delicately sidestepped her challenger’s pressure to acknowledge the labor unions’ monopoly. Following suit, supporters burst into spontaneous applause when speakers touched on political capstones.
ABC Government Affairs Director Kevin Dayton went ahead and answered Crosby’s rhetorical question.
“I think we all know what this is ultimately about,” said Dayton. “Everyone is desperate for construction work right now. The unions need to serve their members and the way they’re doing it is to try and guarantee work for them…there’s only one group that’s really benefiting from these, and that’s unions.”
It seems that Ms. Gonzalez was more interested in discussing ABC than the true impact of PLAs on taxpayers and nonunion construction workers. We can’t blame her. PLAs are nothing more than politically-motivated handouts to the special interest group she represents. If we had to defend these backroom deals, we’d try to divert attention too.
Proposition G will be on the ballot for Chula Vista voters to approve on June 8, 2010. Visit www.fairnessforchulavista.com for more information.