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Comments made by markcafferty

Should County Ban Project Labor Agreements?

Great topic, great debate.

Open and fair competition in construction is critical, as is the ability to ensure that workers are supported, protected and properly trained. However, arguing that unions are doing any more to strong-arm or pressure politicians than contractors and businesses associations are is both a weak and ideological argument. Both contractors (and their respective associations) and unions use their political power and support in very similar ways and do whatever they can to solidify support for those they represent. That is just a simple fact of politics. Let’s not pretend that political support only flows in one direction on building and development issues.

I think Lorena presented some great arguments as did Eric. However I would say that if either Lorena or Eric, or the organizations they represent, are informing the public that the existence of PLAs or the banning of PLAs will ensure the creation of more good paying jobs for San Diegans right now, in this economy, then they are misinformed and they are misinforming those they represent. I have never seen Eric in San Diego and have never met him, but I have worked with Lorena very regularly through the downturn in our economy and I believe she would agree with me that any claims of near-term job creation through Prop A (from either side) should be called out as false.

If people want to vote up or down on Prop A based on their feelings about unions, then by all means, do so. But please do not be fooled into thinking that the passage of Prop A will create any jobs for anyone in San Diego right now--other than those working on the campaign of course. And please do not be fooled into thinking that the jobs created in the future will be any more abundant and far-reaching because PLAs have been banned. There is no evidence or fact to support either of these claims. I would close by saying that if materials have in fact been sent out to the public (by either side) using "job creation" as an arguemnt or promise, then the speakers do not have a fraction of the respect for or confidence in the electorate that they spoke about on this morning’s show.

All in all, good discussion and debate.

Mark Cafferty
President and CEO
San Diego Workforce Partnership

October 14, 2010 at 11:19 a.m. ( | suggest removal )