"By Right" Legislation, a Threat to Construction Workers' Wages, is Dead

August 24, 2016 - The “By Right” proposal, which would have allowed developers to avoid paying construction workers fair wages on large housing and commercial projects, has died, because of the unified opposition of all Building Trades’ unions in California with a broad coalition of affordable housing community groups and environmental allies.

As the San Francisco Business Journal reported: "The death blow was dealt by the construction trades," said Matt Regan, senior vice president of public policy at the Bay Area Council, the region's largest business group, which supported the proposal. With such strong opposition, no state senators or assembly members publicly supported the measure.

Governor Brown is correct in his declaration that there is an affordable housing crisis in California, but it is not the construction workers’ wages driving these costs. The fact is that profits and fees of developers and speculators, many of them being foreign nationals, along with the gentrification and demolition of real affordable housing are the issues at the heart of the affordable housing crisis for working families.

This combined with the perpetual drive to lower wages of workers throughout the state has made owning a home difficult even for construction workers. Reducing our wages would simply add to the crisis and be absorbed into the profits of developers and speculators. We the Building Trades would welcome playing a constructive role with Governor Brown in his sincere desire to drive affordable housing for working families in California. Let’s make it real and let’s make it work.

The State Building Trades would like to thank all the individual trades and local unions for their letters and outreach to their representatives in the Senate and Assembly. Your action resulted in the continued protection of construction workers’ wages.

Here is a link to the Business Journal article.



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