A broad-based coalition of labor, civic and business leaders are calling on voters in Chula Vista, Calif., to vote no on Tuesday, June 8 on an anti-union ballot initiative -Proposition G.
Spearheaded by the Associated Builders and Contractors and out-of-state right-wing political groups, Proposition G would prohibit the Southern California city from using project labor agreements for government-funded construction work.
PLAs are project-specific, pre-hire collective bargaining agreements that set out terms and conditions of employment on construction projects.
For many Chula Vista business and civic leaders, Proposition G is so radical that it would threaten the city’s economic development; costing Chula Vista needed jobs and money
Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce CEO Lisa Cohen told La Prensa San Diego:
Proposition G is bad for business. The top priority of the business community in Chula Vista is job creation and it has become clear that Proposition G appears to interfere with that mission. The potential consequences of Proposition G are so devastating for Chula Vista that a supermajority of the Chamber’s board voted to oppose it.
Nearly every elected official, including the mayor and the majority of the city council have come out against measure.
For building trades members, passage of the initiative would spell disaster, cutting out union members from working on most construction projects in Chula Vista and banning the city from making payments into a union benefits’ fund.
“If they pass it here, ABC is bragging that they will take it across California,” said Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 569 Business Manager Allen Shur.
This effort is a part of the ABC’s “10 in 2010” campaign in California that is designed to get local jurisdictions to enact policies to prohibit PLAs.
Says Building Trades President Mark Ayers in a letter to union leaders:
(ABC) has already succeeded in Orange County, and the next fight is Chula Vista. If they win here, they will have momentum going into other fights in California, and you can rest assured that we will see this strategy replicated in short order in other states.
With polling showing a tight split among voters, the No on G coalition is planning to contact more than 30,000 of them and get them to the polls.
Building trades leaders are focusing on educating their members, making sure that they know that this is an anti-union measure.
“We’ve spent the last couple months walking precincts, making sure everyone knows that Proposition G is bad for Chula Vista,” Shur said.
“Our opponents have already spent more than $3 million on this campaign. We don’t have that kind of cash, so we are relying on our grassroots efforts to get out the vote,” he said.
To get involved in the No on G campaign, click here.