More Anti-PLA Efforts are Underway as the War on Workers Targets California

July 2011 - It's official now here in California. The anti-worker extremists have declared war on all of us in the Building Trades; on our jobs, our livelihoods, and our futures. 

As you are reading this, they are out there gathering signatures to place measures on the 2012 ballot to ban Project Labor Agreements in the City of San Diego, as well as in both the City and County of Sacramento.

These efforts are funded by ABC and others who believe that decent wages and benefits for workers come at too high a price to the super-rich ruling class. They come on the heels of their successes in 2010, when they passed measures to ban PLAs in San Diego County, and the cities of Vista, Chula Vista, and Oceanside. Those results taught us this lesson: we’ve got to fight harder, longer and smarter, and put a stop to this war on workers here and now.

If we let them win in San Diego and Sacramento in 2012, it won’t stop there. Every Building Trades worker in California will be in their bulls-eye.

Our immediate problem is that many people – our relatives, friends, and colleagues - don’t know very much, if anything at all, about what PLAs actually are, what they do, and the many ways in which they benefit workers, cities, counties, schools, and communities. So when they finally do hear the union-bashing lies from our enemies, they are susceptible to believing them.

We can, and must change that, starting right now. That means all of us. 

Every business manager and business agent and local union officer needs to communicate the importance of this fight to their members. Let them know that the State Building Trades website has videos explaining the benefits of PLAs, to cities and counties, to schools, and the overall value of PLAs.

Individual members need to talk to their relatives, their friends, and their coworkers. We all need to be expanding public awareness of the benefits of PLAs. They mean good jobs and good wages and successful communities.

Educate yourself and those around you. Visit the new website,, watch the videos and read the research. Click the “like” button to help spread the word. Tell your friends and colleagues and ask them to do the same. Make sure your city, county, and school district officials get the truth as well.

Keep an eye out for news stories about union workers, PLAs, and prevailing wages. Read them and check out the comments section on-line. Those hateful anti-worker diatribes you see will be the work of ABC’s minions, spreading their vile misinformation about you, and demeaning the value of the work you do.

Don’t let them get away with it. Add your voice. Tell the truth and set the readers straight.

We are vigilantly searching out these attacks and responding quickly and pro-actively. Right after they announced the drive to ban PLAs in Sacramento, we ran a pro-PLA column in the Sacramento Business Journal, touting PLAs as a smart, businesslike method for local governments to build projects. Sacramento’s business people read and learned from it. We also placed a column in the Bakersfield paper when one of their right-wing legislators ludicrously blamed prevailing wage for the state tax burden. We are helping pro-union contractors publicize their views that PLAs are an efficient, cost-effective business practice.

As these developments occur, you can stay up to date with them by visiting our website, Read these things and forward them along.

We will run effective, spirited campaigns against these latest attacks on you and your livelihood. But we can’t win this just by hiring consultants and running media campaigns.

Our rank and file must be engaged. If we are not all in this fight together, as one, our enemies will prevail. Our union wages, benefits and working conditions are at risk.

Will you be part of it? Will you help set the record straight? Will you join the fight? 

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