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Union Withdraws From Future Talks With Chula Vista Bayfront Developer

(Photo: Gaylord Entertainments' Renderings of the proposed Chula Vista Resort Center. Port of San Diego. )

Chula Vista still plans to develop its bayfront despite disagreements between a developer and local unions. But it's not clear whether Gaylord Entertainment will be the company building a new retail complex. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce explains.

Gaylord Entertainment wants to build a one-billion-dollar hotel and convention center on the Chula Vista Bayfront. But the developer and local unions can't agree on whether construction jobs should be given only to San Diego-area workers. Local unions have now called off all future negotiations. Jen Badgley is with the electrical workers union.

Badgley: Our concern is where the workers come from and Gaylord never agreed to hire local workers which is the one thing that we that we could absolutely not compromise on.

Gaylord Entertainment says they're "dismayed" by the tone of the union's response to the company's latest proposal. Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox says she talked with Gaylord about hiring local workers.

Cox: They said that they would make their best faith effort's to hire people from the local surrounding areas. You know when you talk about the number of electricians, and plumbers and pipe-fitters in Chula Vista alone, there aren't enough to build that project, you have to go to surrounding areas. And there may not be even enough within the immediate surrounding areas to build this project in a 3-1/2-year construction timeline.

In the meantime, Chula Vista City Manager David Garcia says plans to build a major hotel-convention center complex will move forward.

Garcia: Gaylord would have been the person to make that happen for us, we hope that they still will be. But if they truly are out of it, we're going to continue, the port and the city at this point are committed to continuing with that idea.

Gaylord says they plan to talk with the City of Chula Vista and Port of San Diego about what's next. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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