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City of Sacramento Ban on Project-Labor Agreements (June 2012)

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A City of Sacramento Ban on Project-Labor Agreements Initiative will not be on the June 5, 2012 ballot for voters in the City of Sacramento in Sacramento County because of an insufficiency of the number of signatures gathered on its initiative petition.[1][2]

Supporters of the initiative refer to it as the Fair and Open Competition in Construction initiative. If it should eventually qualify for the ballot and be enacted, it will prohibit the city government from using Project Labor Agreements on city government construction projects. Currently, any government construction project in the city is required to use a PLA. Supporters of the initiative says that PLAs "inflate the cost of construction significantly, and cost taxpayers more money on public projects."[3]

Examples of large construction projects whose labor agreements would be impacted by the measure include the planned arena for the Kings in the downtown area.[4]


Supporters include:

  • Karen Young and Tom Griffin, who have served as elected board members of the Sacramento City Unified School District.[1]
  • Eric Christen with the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction. He says, "With the economy the way it is, (taxpayer-funded projects) should be available to all workers."[4]
  • Kevin Dayton, state government affairs director for the Associated Builders and Contractors of California.[3]


The initiative is opposed by construction unions.[3]

Bill Camp, executive secretary of the Sacramento Central Labor Council, said, "We’re different in Sacramento because we have a good deal of union density here. We’ll use that density against anybody who is trying to scam the government or scam people."[5]

Phil Giarrizzo is a former union leader who now works as a political consultant, including on the campaign for city council of Allen Warren. Giarrizzo is opposed to the ban on PLAs, and says, "People are trying to take advantage of the economic climate to kick labor unions."[4]

Path to the ballot

  • Supporters of the initiative had 180 days to collect signatures equal to 15% of the vote in the most recent city-wide election from registered voters in order to qualify the measure for the ballot. This comes to about 32,230 valid signatures.
  • Supporters filed 46,692 signatures with election officials on December 27, 2011.[6]
  • On February 1, 2012, election officials in Sacramento County announced that their inspection of the signatures that were filed indicated that 62% of the signatures were valid, for a total of 28,949 valid signatures. 28,949 valid signatures is 3,281 less than the 32,230 valid signature requirement. As a result, election officials ruled that insufficient signatures had been submitted and that the initiative would therefore not be placed on the June 5, 2012 ballot.[2]

During the signature-gathering phase, the campaign to collect the signatures filed eleven reports with Sacramento police in response to a series of physical assaults on signature-gatherers. The supports of the initiative stated they believed that local construction unions were involved with the harassment and attacks.[6]

On October 2, 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 922.[7] This bill says that California counties and general law cities cannot ban government-mandated project labor agreements. Because of Senate Bill 922, a signature-gathering effort to qualify a ban on PLAs that applied to Sacramento County was abandoned. Since the City of Sacramento is a charter city, voters in the city are allowed to weigh in on PLAs, despite Senate Bill 922.[8]

See also

External links