I would have hoped for a little research and some updated facts and dates, but sadly we heard the same old hot air with bogus, factless propaganda.
To set the record straight, the ABC represents only non-union contractors, and they have opposed every PLA (Project Labor Agreement) in Contra Costa County and have failed every single time. They also opposed Davis-Bacon regulations, which are supported by the NAACP, National Women’s Political Caucus and the Mexican American Unity Council. The ABC also tried and failed to lower the wages of California apprentices.
Federal, state and local governments for the last six decades have utilized PLAs. In Contra Costa County alone, there has already been over $14 billion in projects constructed with a PLA, including the new Brentwood Water Treatment Plant, and significantly every project has been completed on schedule, on budget and more importantly, done safely.
On the other hand, ABC non-union contractors are responsible for some of the most inferior construction projects in Contra Costa County. The most recent failure was the new Rodeo Hills Elementary School, better known as the “School from Hell,” which is literally falling apart, with millions of dollars in repairs and litigation. John Swett Unified School District voted 5-0 to use a PLA on all of its future projects because of this boondoggle failure, over the objection of Kevin Dayton, Nichole Goering and Eric Christen of the ABC.
Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall actually doubled the project’s costs to taxpayers with shoddy non-union construction, litigation, and the project went two years over schedule. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to use PLAs on their future projects over the objection of Kevin Dayton and the ABC. The Contra Costa County PLA has been in effect for six years; “all” projects have been on schedule, on budget and no litigation.
The infamous USS Posco Steel Project in Pittsburg was in fact the worst ABC-built project in the history of Contra Costa County. It was a $300 million modernization project. It had a $100 million cost overrun; out-of-state workers were killed on this project. OSHA even came in and actually shut the project down because of major health and safety violations.
Local union building tradesmen and tradeswomen had to be brought in at a cost of approximately $60 million to fix this plant that wouldn’t operate. I almost forgot the non-union ABC out-of-state contractor on this project also ended up trying to sue the owners of USS Posco. Could this be why PLAs are so successful and widely used throughout Contra Costa County to prevent these disastrous types of non-union construction projects from ever occurring again?
In fairness and openness I would like to invite the Brentwood mayor, City Council members and the Brentwood Press to inspect the various union building trades’ apprenticeship schools and then compare this to the ABC non-union training programs. You will then have a clearer perspective as to why our congressional representatives, Board of Supervisors, city councils, water districts, school boards, refineries, power plants and local officials have all used and voted to support PLAs, which have been proven to be of benefit and cost savings to our local taxpayers.
Greg Feere is the CEO of the Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council.