Regardless of one’s political leanings, it is impossible to deny the economic development opportunities that come to a city when it hosts one of the two major political party conventions every four years.
Unfortunately, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) has decided to make union favoritism a key criteria for selecting vendors for their 2012 convention, particularly for construction and renovations in and around the convention site – the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC.
The DNCC’s Sept. 13 request for proposal for construction managers and event architects states that the DNCC will enter into a labor agreement with the construction manager, who will be obligated to ensure that nearly all work at the site be covered by union collective bargaining agreements to the “maximum extent possible.”
Republican candidate for Mayor of Charlotte Scott Stone wants to see exactly what is in these agreements. He issued a letter requesting the DNCC release the actual project labor agreements and also issued the following press release on October 26:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayoral Candidate Calls for Release of DNC Vendor Project Labor Agreement
Scott Stone Calls on DNC Host Committee to Release Project Labor Agreements
Charlotte, NC (October 26, 2011) – Republican mayoral candidate Scott Stone today called on the DNC Host Committee to release the project labor agreements that vendors will be required to sign. At a press conference in Charlotte, Stone presented a formal letter addressed to Mayor Foxx and the DNC Host Committee asking for the labor agreements to be made public.
Stone expressed his concern that at a time when other states around the country are outlawing project labor agreements, Charlotte and North Carolina – at the hands of the DNC – are heading toward them and down a slippery slope. “As project labor agreements are going away in Michigan, here in the Right-To-Work state of North Carolina they’re actually popping up.”
Now that the contracts have been awarded, Stone said it is time for the DNC host committee to release the project labor agreement that the vendors will be required to sign. “The contracts have been awarded and the DNC and Mayor Foxx cannot continue to put off these important questions about the extent to which organized labor will be used for the convention,” said Stone. “We understand that the DNC is going to use union labor and we think it only fair that they be transparent about how much union labor they will use.”
Page four of the DNC’s request for proposal indicates that the construction manager will be required to sign a project labor agreement.
Scott Stone is a licensed civil engineer with decades of experience managing national building projects. Stone is the founder of the NC Heroes Fund and served on the City of Charlotte’s Business Advisory Committee from 2006 to 2010. Stone lives in Charlotte with his wife and two daughters. Stone is the Republican candidate for Mayor of Charlotte.
There are a couple problems here, one obvious and the other a little less so. First, these labor agreements are designed to keep the 97.5! percent of the local construction workforce that chooses not to join a union from working on these projects.
Why would the DNCC want to exclude so many hard working Americans in this economy, when unemployment in the construction industry is higher than 13 percent?
It is because the Democratic National Convention is being held in a Right to Work state, with no union hotels and as a result, some construction unions are threatening to boycott the event. The Democrats have a political problem and are solving it by cutting North Carolina’s construction workers out of the project.
The other problem with the Democrats’ decision to require project labor agreements at their convention site is less obvious, but more significant for American taxpayers. The major political conventions are funded in large part by taxpayer dollars.
That’s right Americans, you are footing the bill for this one too!
As reported by the Washington Examiner (“GOP and Dems get taxpayer subsidies for conventions,” 6/22/11), taxpayers pick up the bulk of the tab for these events:
The PECF money goes into the main bank accounts of the Democratic National Convention Committee and its GOP counterpart. For instance, in 2008, the DNCC’s $16.8 million budget came almost entirely from its $14.9 million check from the U.S. Treasury. So, taxpayers, covered the committee’s $26,000 bill at the Ritz Carlton and six-figure cost for housing convention staff, plus plenty more.
The PECF is the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, which is funded by the $3 check-off option on the standard IRS tax forms that gives taxpayers the option of sending $3 of their federal taxes owed to fund presidential election activities.
In other words, taxpayers are picking up the cost of this political handout to Big Labor. Again.
Here at TheTruthAboutPLAs.com, we thank Mr. Stone for working to get to the bottom of this mess.
Charlotte Observer: “Stone Presses Union Jobs Issue,” 10/27/11
Red State: “Dems Dodge Questions On Discriminatory Union PLAs For DNC Convention,” 10/27/11
Liberty Watch: “Dems Dodge Questions On Discriminatory Union PLAs For DNC Convention,” 10/28/11