Should County Ban Project Labor Agreements?
Thursday, October 14, 2010
What are the arguments for and against Proposition A? We'll talk to representatives on both sides of the debate over the proposed San Diego County charter amendment to prohibit the use of project labor agreements on County construction projects, except where required by state or federal law.
Are you in favor of Prop. A, the amendment to ensure fair and open competition for San Diego County construction contracts?
121 total votes. (This poll is now closed.)
What are the arguments for and against Proposition A? We'll talk to representatives on both sides of the debate over the proposed San Diego County charter amendment to prohibit the use of project labor agreements on County construction projects, except where required by state or federal law.
Eric Christen, representing the Yes on A campaign, executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction.
Lorena Gonzalez, representing the No on A campaign, secretary-treasurer and CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm Maureen Cavanaugh and you're listening to these days on KPBS. Election coverage continues on KPBS this morning with the debate over San Diego County's Proposition A. Prop A asks voters if the San Diego County charter should be amended to prohibit the County from requiring the use of project labor agreements on county construction projects except were required by state or federal law. A project labor agreement is a collective bargaining agreement negotiated with unions at the start of the project that sets out wages, benefits and hiring conditions for a specific construction project in exchange for labor peace, and timely completion of public projects. San Diego county already has a county ordinance that bans project labor agreements if it the measure is approved by voters that ban will become a part of the county charter. I'd like to introduce my guests, taking opposite sides of the Proposition A debate. Eric Christen is representing the “Yes on A” campaign. He is executive director of the coalition for fair employment in construction. And Eric, welcome to these days.
ERIC CHRISTEN: Maureen, thank you for having me.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And Lorena Gonzalez is representing the “No on A” campaign. She's secretary treasurer and CEO of the San Diego and Imperial County’s Labor Council AFL-CIL. Lorena, good morning.
LORENA GONZALEZ: Good morning, Maureen.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Eric. Let me start with you if I may. And just give us the argument, why do you support Prop. A.
ERIC CHRISTEN: Well, thank you for having us today and I'd like to really thank Lorena for being here today. I've been doing this for 12 years and this is actually the first time in 12 years that someone has actually come to debate PLAs against me. Usually they don't show up and that's something I think says a lot both for the PLA proponents arguments as well as how difficult it is to argue for what we view as PLAs being a discriminatory and controversial agreements that they are and considering how badly after spending $700,000 that Lorena and local unions were getting beat down in Chula Vista and Oceanside with those cities passing— by overwhelming margins—open competition ordinances similar to what the voters in the county of San Diego will be voting on. You know I'd like to give a shout out for Lorraine being here today. In a nutshell, project labor agreements as you indicated, you put forward, I think with the union's best arguments: why are they necessary for labor peace, quote unquote, and for timely completion of projects? Well, as for labor of peace, I’m not sure what that means as it sounds more like an implicit threat that if you don't give us a PLA there will be trouble. But on the timely completion of projects I think it's imperative to talk about the project that was just mentioned in your lead-in story, the $85 million medical examine forensic building that the county just built. Which actually, without a PLA-- with union or non-union workers working side by side-- came in $12 million under budget and on time. And what we see PLAs is being are solutions in search of a problem. Every day, the workers in San Diego and the across the state and the country they get up on the daily basis union and non-union alike and go to work side by side on projects all over the place. Project labor agreements force a non-union side of the equation to have to pay the union dues, pay the union health pension plans, and allow for only union apprentices. This is something that is unacceptable, discriminatory and wasteful to taxpayer dollars so we've decided to practically go out to the people and push open competition ordinances, which allow for workers to work where they want to work. Union or not -- union or non-union. Save taxpayer dollars by allowing for more bidders on projects, as we have seen with the recent county building, and simply not discriminating against people based on their union affiliations so that's what they are in our mind.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Thank you.
ERIC CHRISTEN: You bet.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Let -- Lorena. Let me give you the time to talk about your opposition to Prop. A.
LORENA GONZALEZ: Well there are two things here. There's Prop. A of which I could talk about and then there's also PLAs. First I’ll take on PLAs because Eric as usual, he's been identified of course in voices of San Diego as a huckster propaganda when it comes to project labor agreements and that's because he continues to misrepresent what they're about. The best argument for Prop-- for project labor agreement and those which are most important for workers and labor workers, it is the only legal way to require local hire. It is the only way to ensure that when we're putting taxpayer dollar into a project, that the people being hired are from San Diego County. I'm sorry, I'm a taxpayer. I don't want my money going to workers who are coming here from Nevada and Arizona and Mexico and bringing that money back home and not spending it in our local economy. The other thing it does is it requires healthcare to be paid for the worker. Now, the reason this is important is when we don't require contractors to provide healthcare, we the taxpayers have to subsidize that healthcare through emergency room care, uhmm, through other government-funded programs. These are important factors in the entire looking at why project labor agreements are important. Now a project labor agreement is just a pre-hire agreement that sets out the rules for a construction project. The reason that the contractor’s groups, that paid for Eric's salary and the contractor groups that really are the mother's milk of the Republican party in San Diego don't like these is because they don't like rules. The person who put this on the ballot, Bill Horn-- we already know when it comes to construction-- he doesn't really value permits or rules. He got fined thousands of dollars for adding on to his own. We know how he feels about workers. He's been caught, of course, having immigrant farm hands on his property without bathrooms-- without safe working conditions. I think it's clear that the motivation behind the folks who are putting this out there, are not about fair and open competition. Taft heartily says, Section 8-A3 says you cannot discriminate between union and non-union work on a public project. So this has nothing to do with whether or not union and non-union workers can work side by side. It's about what's provided for the public and for those workers on any job.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Lorena. Let me ask you to respond to what Eric said about debating, having a person here to debate about project labor agreement. Is that something that's been a problem? Have you not wanted to do this?
LORENA GONZALEZ: I think that's ridiculous. I actually have debated PLAs; anyone who has asked me to come in to debate. In fact it's the associated builders and contractors who-- every time my name comes up-- quits coming to debate. And I think originally, there were 2 or 3 people booked for this show and it wasn't until Eric, that they finally agreed to come on and debate me about this, so…
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Well, Eric let me ask you this about some of the things that Lorena brought up, and that is hiring local workers. What's wrong with requiring public projects to hire workers in the locality where the project is being built.
ERIC CHRISTEN: We think that's one reason that the open competition ordinance is so important because as we've seen, San Diego Unified where they decided to place a project labor agreement on all the proposition, construction on work there is that it excludes the vast majority of the local industry which happens to be non-union, and so our ordinances are the way to guarantee that local workers will in fact get these jobs. When you have over 90 percent of the local construction work force non-union-- we believe that both union, non-union workers should be allowed to work on projects by putting the PLA into place. Which implicitly discriminates against the non-union side of the equation; you're actually making it harder for the local work force— again — about 90 percent of whom wake up on a daily basis for environment. So the local hire issue is important, but that's already happening. Just across the street I noticed-- walking in-- you have daily construction building a project. I noticed both union and non-union people working on that project. I would guarantee you that if we're union, when Lorena and I want to cross the street we’d find that probably 90 or 95 percent of those workers are in fact local. That has not been a problem in the city and in the region, and in fact the city actually had a couple of surveys where they've found that on their projects-- the numbers were over 90 percent-- the project the city's been local hire without the PLA, so it's a distraction. I understand it’s their strongest argument, but it's really rhetoric-- rhetoric masking a solution to a non-existent problem.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now Lorena, do you have any -- can you point to any project where, outside out of state workers, non-local workers have been brought in to complete a public project?
LORENA GONZALEZ: We see it all the time. On any -- any given day, especially on Fridays. Cars and constructions trucks going back to Arizona. And you see it at any local hotel. People piling in hotel rooms in order to come here and take our work. Eric's just making up numbers. He's now throwing out a 90 percent number. A few months ago, it was at 85 percent. It's completely fabricated. And as a result of these numbers, that's why the Voice of San Diego has called him a huckster-propagandist when it comes to PLA arguments. He says 90 percent of construction industry is non-union in San Diego. Now, let's think about this a little bit. He may be counting the guys who, unfortunately, have to stand outside Home Depot to look for work. Those are folks who we're not talking about would be qualified to be working, necessarily, on a big construction project. When you take commercial construction in San Diego-- and I'm not talking about just the construction industry, as far as the companies-- but the actual workers. Because there are a lot of small, of course mop and pop come-fix-your-bathroom companies out there. But we're talking about companies who are bound to large construction projects and the workers who actually work for those companies. That's what we care about. Over 50 percent of large construction projects are being done by union construction workers who are local. And he knows that. In fact it's around closer to 60 or 70 percent. So we're not talking about home builders. We're not talking about people who come and help you contract in your house. We're not talking about the folks who unfortunately have to stand outside home depot to try to look for work. We're talking about a skilled work force. There is no way that only ten percent of that [is] in San Diego County's union and he knows that's true. He just likes to make up numbers. The city of San Diego did a survey only on a very small portion of the work that they could actually survey because they only had numbers, and certified pay roll from prevailing wage jobs. San Diego's a charter city so most of the jobs are not prevailing wage. And what they found is actually with prevailing wage-- when they attached it to it-- it did drive up the number of local numbers of workers working on a project. That's great. That's whey we advocate for strengthening prevailing wage laws because it becomes less of an incentive to bring folks in from outside where they have to pay good local wages. But of course Eric in his group fights prevailing wage jobs. So everything we do to try to encourage the use of local workers to pay good wages, so the taxpayers are not subsidizing the construction industry, and to ensure that contractors have certain rules in place-- every single one of those provisions is what Eric's group fights and the contractors fight.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Let me ask you a question, Eric. That is a sort of a foundational question about the idea of project labor agreements.
ERIC CHRISTEN: Sure.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: When there is a public entity, like a county is actually having a construction project done, it's not the same as a business where they just look for a very lowest cost that they could possibly have. They have a lot of things they have to consider, discrimination policies. And they also have to take into -- wouldn't you agree they also have to take into account the idea, you know, the people who are working on the project and with whether or not they are making a living wage. What -- how do you respond to that as an argument for project labor agreements and against Prop. A?
ERIC CHRISTEN: Yeah. The prevailing wage aspect of this has nothing to do with it. Our group fights project labor agreement. Prevailing wage-- little Davis Bacon here at the state level, Davis Bacon at the national level-- all that is beside the point. Because on these public works projects on the county level, it’s prevailing wage as it is. So that's beside the point. What the county is doing by putting this forward in what we saw voters agreeing to Chula Vista, Oceanside, recently up in Plaster County, Orange County, all over the state-- and it's going to increase all over the state—as we push these initiatives is that they're actually doing what you just said. It is making sure the discrimination is codified out of their charters and out of the way by placing open fair competition and the charters in the way they do business. Everybody sees what PLAs are. They are discrimination-masking the solution to the problem. And I think that's why you have such a hard time. And I give Lorena credit for actually again showing up and debating these things because it's very difficult to do. You know they spends over $700,000 on the civic [inaudible] and lost it over 11 points in a democrat majority city, so it's difficult to argue that discrimination is something bad. And I think you've got a sense of her view, the non-union side of the industry based on, you know, and also, her view of immigrants who happened to come from Mexico. While that's troubling and it's a bit sad, the reality is prevailing wage who people come from Mexico is all beside the point. We're talk about people that do business in California in the City and County of San Diego who want to be able to work locally on a job. Do so in a way where it's fair, no one coerces on having to join the union and at the end of the day, provide the taxpayers with the best quality, value, and the best price always. And so your question, going back to your specific question don't county [inaudible] have something the lowest bidder will be responsible to? They absolutely do and that's why the cost, the state, they're banning project labor. Because they do everything that you said they need to be protecting themselves from. From not discriminating against people and from getting all qualified bidders for the work when you have the PLAs that keeps very qualifying, very capable, very large, very quality contractors from not [inaudible] on project.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We have to take a break. Lorena, I know that you want to respond. We'll go back to you first as soon as we come back. Lorena Gonzalez is here. She's representing the No on Prop. A campaign. She is the CEO of the San Diego and Imperial's county labor county. Eric Christian is representing the yes on A campaign. He's Executive Director for the coalition for fair employment in construction. You're listening to these days on KPBS.
I'm Maureen Cavanaugh and you're listening to These Days on KPBS. My guests are Eric Christian, he's representing the Yes on Prop. A campaign. And Lorena Gonzalez is representing the No on Prop. A campaign. We're talking about Proposition A which is a county-wide proposition in San Diego. It would amend San Diego's county charter to prohibit the use of, the requiring the use of project labor agreements on county construction. And Lorena, I asked Eric a question about whether or not public governments have larger responsibility when it comes to making -- who they hire for public projects-- and I wanted to give you a chance to respond.
LORENA GONZALEZ: Thank you Maureen, and I do. You know it's amazing that he -- that Eric is amazing that people won't come to thank him. I think today really shows why. It's because he twists people's words and lies blatantly and it makes it very hard to have a high level debate with somebody who's willing to do that. The bottom line is this. Obviously my work on immigration and reform and immigrants stands on its own. But we still are on publicly funded projects that should be hiring people who lived in the county of San Diego who are going to stay in the county of San Diego after they complete their job. Not go back to a different state. Not go back to a different country. And that way, the taxpayer dollars that are used-- trickle through the contractor and pay the worker-- can be recycled into our community. That's what I care about. I don't care who's working on that project. I don't care if they're an immigrant or not an immigrant. I care that they come from San Diego, and that they can legally work on that project. So you know let's be very clear. We're talking about Proposition A. The reason it's so hard to have this discussion with [inaudible] and the reason -- Eric's right, we've lost this argument is because the contractors are willing to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars, more money than we have into these lies about the need for this. First of all, the county already had an ordinance that prohibited project labor agreements. For the hundred years that the labor counsel's been in existence we never asked for project labor agreement on the county level. Project labor agreements aren't for every project. They're for certain projects. For certain highly complex projects. We haven't found the need to even ask for one. However if you look that the Propaganda that the prop A folks are sending out, they're saying that Prop. A is going to create good-paying jobs for San Diego. More jobs, good pays jobs for San Diegans. It does nothing to change the law. I don't even know how they could assert good paying jobs. They said that half protect people from having to join the union. We know that we can't force anyone into joining a union. So they continue to put out lies and efforts to trick voters and, let's be honest, the contractors have more money than the workers. They're going to continue to do this. It's a very simple message that they've promote-- one that's not based on any kind of facts. One that is not based on any reality and as a result, that's why they have to take it to the ballot. Because if they try to really sit and have this discussion rationally with most legislators, they'll tell them to go count sand, and they have for the most part. It's only the highly-partisan Republican legislators who's [inaudible] being filled by the same contractors who are pushing this, who are even willing to look at this type of proposal.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Eric. Lorena points out that San Diego County already has an ordinance in place that prohibits project labor agreement. Why do we need to change the county charter to prohibit project labor agreements?
ERIC CHRISTEN: Well, I thought this would be obvious but our point is not to wait to have discrimination [inaudible] PLAs like we did at San Diego unified and then react after having [inaudible]. We just have to choose in a proactive manner actually go to the voters as opposed to Lorena and [inaudible], after Chula Vista voters count their [inaudible] passed the open competition ordinance. The quote and tell Lemon who's the head of the building in construction trades counsel here in the county, said their voters were fooled. Now we don't have the [inaudible] or a offensive view of voters as those folks do, which is that they're dumb, they have just been tricked, they were lied to, they didn't see through the lies. We actually have a, you know, a much broader view. And I think proper view of where the voters are. They do get this. They are smart. They want what's best for the taxpayers, especially in these days where taxpayer dollars needs to be stretched as far as they can be because there's so few of them. So we've actually decided what while we appreciated the supervisors pushing the PLA ban, that is five people who choose to take that stand that down the road could be [inaudible] five or 3 of the five votes beyond inroad. Well what we've decided to do is in Chula Vista and in Oceanside and soon to be in the city of San Diego and Sacramento and Los Angeles and all across the state, is to take it to the people. Let the people decide and codify it into law because we know that they get it, we have a deep respect for their intelligence. We know they're going to be what common sense this is and you know, I understand that when you get voted against, there's a emotive desire to react and say that these are stupid people who didn't get it and lots of money came in and, we were actually out spent in Chula Vista. And we still won by 11 points. So we have a deep respect for the people. And Lorena. I think your point is we could sit back and say, well the supervisor's not [inaudible] is we should be happy with that. But I actually think it speaks to where we're coming from. We're willing to spends a lot of money to get these passed by going to the vote of the people, include the voters think [inaudible] we could lose when we have the vote at the San Diego supervisor level. And now we're willing to [inaudible] it up and go before the people and perhaps lose, but I think it speaks in the confidence we have in the people.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Let me ask you just a quick question now because the supervisors may change now, there's term limits.
ERIC CHRISTEN: Right.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: We may get new supervisors who look at project labor agreements a little differently. But the voters themselves who would have voted those supervisors in, so why not allow a future board of supervisors to make its own decision about project labor agreement instead of putting this in the county charter?
ERIC CHRISTEN: Well, a little motto that we've created is we've decided to take the decision making process out of the hands of elected officials sometimes who are-- as we've seen with San Diego unified-- where you get three bought and paid for mouthpieces for union special [inaudible] dress would come in there and in their first meeting [inaudible] any discussion about project labor agreements or whether they're good or bad or not. They do the bidding of local union bosses and we saw that. We stood back and, you know really, that's been the greatest gift that we could have been given here. We would really be not where we are today in San Diego if not for the over reach that was committed by the unions at San Diego Unified because it woke people up and they said “My God.” The counts as two bill [inaudible] construction bond. In the past you've had union and non-union alike working together on these projects. And clerks here you come with these three-radical, very political boards members who came in and said, you know what, the fact that less than half our kids aren't graduating isn't really important to us. The fact that most of them are enumerate, illiterate. We are not going to worry about that. The first thing we're going to do is to discriminate against the overwhelming majority of the construction industry that happens to be non-union. And that really woke up to the point where we were saying you know what, as much as we respect elected officials to get in there and do what they're good in these three-- because I know they have a tough job-- the reality is at the end of the day we need to take our argument to the people to protect taxpayers, to protect our workers and to protect the fact of getting local workers on local projects.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Lorena now let me put this to you, if it's already an ordinance in San Diego County, what difference does it make? As you said there's not much of a history in requiring project labor agreements on any county authorized construction project. So what difference does it make?
LORENA GONZALEZ: Well I think that, you know in these economic times when we have a number of issues, when we have no fire protection basically, at the county level or coordinated by our protection, for the board of supervisors to pay over a hundred thousand dollars of our taxpayer dollars, put this on the ballot in order that they could fill their own coffers of 10’s of thousands of dollars from the construction industry, just seems like an over reach by a group of individuals who have shone them to be totally out of touch with the voters of San Diego County. I mean, a hundred thousand dollars. I guess when we're spending a hundred million dollars slush-fund doesn't seem like a whole lot, but to me, those who don't have a job, who are struggling to make ends meet, who need food stamps, that hundred thousand dollars seems like a big waste of money, which it was. And I understand that Eric was so sure that his arguments mattered, then why would they send out mailers that said Prop. A after the accident creates more jobs. Prop A doesn't do a thing. If they're so sure the voters understand what they're saying then I think their campaign material could provide some sort of truth but everything that's on this meal [inaudible] piece, the one they've sent out so far is complete lies and so it's clear that they've honed in on a message, they've done a lot of polling. They've decided that they can sell this as one thing when all it is, is allowing contractors to not have rules. It's what Wall Street has done and ruined America's economy with. And it's what the contractors want to do here in San Diego. And unfortunately, as well. I mean he talked about the San Diego Unified School District PLA or PSA and I'll tell you what that does. The same nothing of union and non-union contractors are currently working on those projects. And Eric knows that. Those projects are coming in under bid and at the same time, the folks who are being brought into to be trained and work on those projects come from the local district area. We're talk about young people who maybe didn't have there opportunity or didn't want to go to college but wanted a career in the construction trades. This PSA provides for that. We're training some of those folks right now and I think, you know, a school board should be looking at that. They should be looking at alternate routes for kids who maybe don't want to go to college but to say that our public school system is putting out illiterate children at the numbers that he's saying. We're improving test scores at the school district and at the same time putting people to work from the local communities.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Just so our listeners are clear, Proposition A would make -- would change this ban on project labor agreements from an ordinance to a change in the county charter. And the supervisors can change an ordinance by them. Change to a county charter however must be approved by voters. So it basically enshrines the ban on the county, the ban on project labor agreements. Eric, you mentioned a number of times Chula Vista and Oceanside and the fact that the similar bans have been instituted, have been voted in and so forth. Is Prop. A a part of an effort to ban project labor agreements state-wide?
ERIC CHRISTEN: It is part of an effort to -- Prop. A is part of an effort to enshrine and codify into local law, fair and open competition. In some cases it takes a form of explicit ban of project labor agreements in other cases because these very entity by entity, they allow for something called the project labor agreement. They specifically ban and exclude the certain provisions of PLA which are implicitly discriminatory to our people. So it varies, but yes, this is actually a part of it, you know, strategy to go throughout the state and the country to take our project back and give them to the local worker. Not take them away from the local worker at the behest of local, big labor special interest. And at the end of the day that's going to benefit taxpayers, workers, both union and non-union alike. And everybody, you know when we wanted at the end of the day, things continue as they are. The project across the street, the county building that was just finished. You go in and Lorena's right. And you go in and there's a great mix of union and non-union. Some projects that may be 64 union. Other projects that pay you know 80 29, [inaudible] on the size or the scope. Whatever it is, we hear amongst ourselves aren't big enough to know exactly what that split would be. That's the free and open market place determining that. So yes, it is part of a much broader strategy because this state is being closed down for business because the antics and tactic of project labor agreement. Green male [check audio] where the [inaudible] building in re-sort off to Arizona because they simply didn't want to build and put up with this stuff anymore. And you know, California is really in a crisis right now. And PLAs aren't [inaudible] why they're in a crisis. They're making the state anti-business and nobody wants to be build anything here anymore. And this is a reason why.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'd like to get your comments on the idea that this is a movement to ban project labor agreements and similar kind of rearrangements with unions by public entities across California and across the nation.
LORENA GONZALEZ: Well you know large corporation and contractors knows the only thing fighting for healthcare for all workers, for increased wages of low wage and middle class workers are unions. So of course they would like to attack unions. It's unfortunate because in the end, they're hurting workers and taxpayers and that's all they're hurting. He talks about discriminating against those non-union contractors. When he says it's discriminating, it's because we're telling them that they have to provide healthcare, provide a skimmed work force, that they have to provide worker's comp. That they're going to be looked at every aspect of the training that they provide, of the skim of the person doing that job because I'll tell you what, when there's not a project labor agreement and there are union and non-union folks working side by side, if you get a non-union contractor like Surewood Mechanical at the Bay Front Hilton who does not provide the skill level employee to do a certain job ends up with [inaudible] violations and blows up part of the Hilton, and hurts the union workers-- work side by side at that. Non-union worker who was trained and skilled and ended up in the hospital because the contractors were trying to skirt the law, the contractor was trying to skirt their requirements under the law. You know, I think that it benefits all of us when there are rules in place, when everybody understands those rules, when workers are protected when we require local hire, not just hope for it. When we incentivize, providing healthcare to workers, all of us are made better. The contractors were going to continue to fight that because it means less profits for them. And that's all they care about.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I want to give you a minute both of you to be able to wrap up and give us some closing statements so let me once against, this is Eric Christian representing the yes, on campaign Prop. A. Eric.
ERIC CHRISTEN: Well thank you Maureen for having us here it's great to be at these debates. It's important for people to know if you want to protect local jobs, stop coercions where you are, force workers to join groups they would otherwise never belong to because they don't want to, and protect taxpayers then yes on A is the way to go. And I want to add fairandopencompetition.com is the website. Please go, learn more about this and if you wish, you can contribute to the effort. I wish we have as much money as Lorena thinks we do but we have to ask for it from our members versus the unions how they go about taking dues without the worker's permission. Use it for politics so that's the difference that we have. But in the end of the day, Lorena can come here and argue her point of view and I can argue mine. But I think it's imperative to step back from 30000 feet to see where every other organization of the industry is. And when you look at it they're in 23 editorials across the state that have taken position of PLAs from liberal to conservative [inaudible] and they never were in-between. And I think it's summed up with the Sacramento, these editorials on PLA where they say PLA is about empowering unions not helping workers. 23 different editorials have been written about PLAs, 23 of them have come out opposed to PLA from center left to center right. And San Diego union tribune [inaudible] the union's PLA is the backroom challenge of their environment crowds. This is legal blackmail.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I've got to stop you there.
ERIC CHRISTEN: Thank you.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And, and give her a chance. Lorena Gonzalez for present no on Prop. A [inaudible].
LORENA GONZALEZ: Well when you look at non-compartment. People like San Diego beat. Yesterday came out against Proposition A. I think when you look at news organizations and [inaudible] that care about workers, that care about more than just the bottom line and profits that you see that they disagree with Eric's take on this. Further more if you look tat the campaign literature from proposition after the accident. Then you see lies. More jobs. He never once said how this is going to create more jobs, it doesn't. It doesn't change anything. Certainly doesn't create more jobs. But that is their whole campaign strategy to lie and deceive and continue to put out these things. Again, he says that people have to join union. We know federal law does not allow people to force unions, to force people to join them. So, you know, if they want to continue to campaign on lies, eventually I think it will come back and hit them. But we know that in the long run, all we need to do is continue to hold contractors accountable so that they don't do to the construction industry what Wall Street has done to banking industry.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Lorena Gonzalez secretary treasure and CEO of the San Diego Imperial [inaudible] labor council AFL-CIO. Eric Christian Director of Coalition for Fair Employment in construction. I want to thank you both.
ERIC CHRISTEN: Thanks Maureen.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Thanks so much. If you'd like to comment, please go online, KPBS.org/TheseDays. Next up, San Diego schools waiting for superman. That's next as these days continues here on KPBS.