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Non-union firms to sue city over Convention Center project

San-Diego-Convention-CenterSAN DIEGO — A group representing nonunion construction firms announced Thursday it will sue the city of San Diego in order to publicly unveil terms of a deal with labor on the convention center expansion project.

The Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction said the city and project contractor Clark Construction have refused to release details of the agreement.

“We’re going to get that union Project Labor Agreement, expose it to the public, and make every schemer involved with this union sweetheart deal accountable for breaking the law,” said Eric Christen, the executive director of the coalition.

He contends the deal is a violation of Proposition A, which San Diegans passed last June to prevent the city from requiring project labor agreements for municipal construction.

At a news conference to announce the deal in November, backers of the project took pains to say the deal was not really a Project Labor Agreement.

Lorena Gonzalez, CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, said typical components of PLAs, like hiring practices and compensation, are being dealt with directly with the contractors, not the city.

She, then-Mayor Jerry Sanders and project manager Charles Black, said the convention center deals were about local hiring rules, worker safety and other contentious issues.

In exchange, unions dropped litigation over the project, ended their opposition to an environmental impact report and promised to express support for the expansion when it is considered by the labor-friendly California Coastal Commission.

The commission is the final regulatory hurdle the project has to clear. Once construction begins, the work is expected to take about 33 months, according to Black.

7 comments

    • guest

      good idea great..and non union below standard workmanship..great.
      then they hire the union guys to fix all the broken cheap ass materials after the place's been built.
      yeaaa good idea

      • Plato

        Your post makes perfect sense I am sure where you are. Here where I live, planet earth, it has no semblance to reality.

        You are only 13% of the construction industry anymore because you can;t provide a great product at a great price so you hide behind your elected officials who provide welfare for you verses you going out and competing for it against those crappy non-union guys who apparently kick your ass.

  • Guest

    Freaking cry baby diapered Mex labour delvelop companies..drive over to Home Depot and mix up a few more NON UNION cheap labour illegals..

    we want those contracts!!
    yea and i want you to leave US alone.

  • Farnsworth

    My company gets screwed over all the time by project labor agreements. Unions are not needed anymore. Sometimes even non-union employees have to join a union and get paid less in turn. And unions do not mean better work by any stretch of the imagination. A recent job was actually messed up due to using unions.

  • steven greenwald

    unions contributed 3.8 million to mr filners mayoral campaign.. they know how to BUY political power

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