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Chula Vista Public Works Contracts and Unions, Measure G (June 2010)

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The Chula Vista Fair and Open Competition Initiative, Measure G was on the June 8, 2010 ballot in San Diego County for voters in the City of Chula Vista, where it was approved.[1]

Measure G banned a type of labor agreement known as a "Project Labor Agreement" or PLA. PLAs require contractors to pay all workers at union scale wages and benefits. Typically, unions support PLAs, and building contractors oppose PLAs. When the buildings in question are being built with public dollars, whether or not to have a PLA also matters to taxpayers and city politicians.[2]

After the passage of Measure G, the San Diego Union-Tribune editorialized that the Measure G approval was a blow to organized labor: "There is no doubt how Chula Vista voters feel about fixing the economy and getting people back to work: They easily adopted the highest profile, and most bitterly debated, item on their ballot, Proposition G...Organized labor spent heavily to try to defeat the measure and to confuse voters with Lewis Carroll-style “Through the Looking Glass” logic, arguing passage would stop all construction in Chula Vista. The voters were not fooled."[3]

Election results

Measure G
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 18,783 55.75%
No14,90644.25%
These final, certified results are from the Sand Diego County elections office.

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

MEASURE G: Shall the ordinance prohibiting the City from funding or entering into public works contracts that require agreements with labor organizations or payments on behalf of employees to labor organization benefit plans or other trust funds be adopted?[4]

Support

Measure G was supported by the Associated Builders and Contractors organization. Scott Crosby, a spokesperson, said at a forum about Measure G, "It’s no secret what’s at stake -- jobs are at stake. Proposition G will simply ensure a fair and open competition, which allows for the best quality work at the lowest price possible."[5]

Supporters raised more than $100,000 to wage their campaign in favor of Measure G.[2]

The San Diego Union-Tribune endorsed a "yes" vote on Measure G, saying, "Chula Vista is where the ghost of the billion-dollar Gaylord hotel and convention center still looms large, a testament to what might have been save for the intransigence of organized labor demanding a PLA, environmental groups wanting $21 million in greenmail, a business community that sat on its hands, and infrastructure costs that ultimately proved fatal....This is a measure about freedom of choice in the workplace. If you believe workers should be free to join a labor union – or not – and that contractors should be free to hire the best workers at a reasonable cost, vote for Proposition G."[6]

An organization called "The Truth About Project Labor Agreements" supported Measure G. They said:[7]

"Prop G will not ban union members from Chula Vista projects. Prop G prohibits the use of government-mandated PLA schemes. Remember that PLAs are responsible for discouraging nonunion contractors and their employees from competing on PLA projects because provisions in PLAs typically prevent all or most of a merit shop contractor’s local and skilled nonunion workforce from working on a PLA project. PLAs can’t even guarantee a local workforce.
The PLA - not Prop G - is the instrument of unfair discrimination. It is one of the reasons why Prop G is on the ballot in June. Prop G simply ensures that all of Chula Vista’s union and nonunion construction professionals have a level playing field to earn a living on public construction projects."

Opposition

Opponents included unions, such as the San Diego Imperial Counties Labor Council. Spokeswoman Lorena Gonzalez said, "If it simply did what it said it would do — to allow labor and nonlabor union workers to be on the same job — then I would support it...Federal law allows nonunion workers to have a shot at construction jobs. That’s the law already."[2]

Opponents raised more than $100,000 to wage their campaign against Measure G.[2]

Videos pro and con

Path to the ballot

A group called the Associated Builders and Contractors tried three times to qualify this initiative for the Chula Vista ballot. The group finally succeeded in August 2009 when it turned in signatures exceeding the required 10,399 signatures. The Chula Vista City Council reviewed the proposed initiative on September 1, 2009 to accept its certification for the ballot.[1]

External links

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References


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