Entries by Kevin Dayton

With Senate Bill 7, California Unions Advance Plot to Neuter City Charters

More than 30 California cities are likely to defy top union officials by asking their citizens in 2014 to vote on enacting a “home rule” charter for local control. Cities want to free their purely municipal affairs from costly union-backed state mandates, for reasons revealed in these recent articles: Unions Rise to Defense of “Prevailing Wage” Rates Jeopardizing […]

CEQA Debate Rule No. 1: Do NOT Mention Union “Greenmail”

“Here’s the plan: pretend that unions aren’t exploiting the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as a tool to obtain labor agreements. Maybe no one will notice.” Supporters and opponents of CEQA reform are straining to avoid this uncomfortable subject as influential Democrats in the California State Senate prepare to introduce an alleged reform of CEQA […]

Another Year Brings New Project Labor Agreements for Education Construction

Another year brings another rush of costly union construction monopolies to K-12 school districts and community college districts in California. Consider that voters in 2012 authorized 115 California educational districts to borrow a grand total of $15,266,651,190 ($15.3 billion) by selling bonds to investors, and you can see why schools are such an alluring target for special […]

Unions Defy CEQA Reformers with Taunting Resolution

Despite their reputation as effective and extensive abusers of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to pursue economic objectives unrelated to environmental protection, California union leaders are strategically choosing to be vocal activists against CEQA reform. Union leaders are obviously quite confident that corporate executives and the news media will hesitate to make them accountable for […]

Charter Proposals for California Cities Continue Provoking Union Opposition

California Governor Jerry Brown claimed in his State of the State address that California now has “a solid and enduring budget.” His Finance Department even predicts state budget surpluses. Despite the jubilation at the state capitol inspired by tax increases and one-party rule, California cities seem skeptical, as shown by their continued efforts to exercise their state constitutional rights to govern their own municipal affairs, […]

Unions Await Fantastic Return on High-Speed Rail Political Investments

It’s a heady time to be a top construction union official in California, as the California High-Speed Rail Authority presumably now holds proposals from as many as five design-build consortiums to build the first segment of the $68 billion project. If this project moves forward, it will become part of the pantheon of huge American infrastructure projects […]

Watch Union Official’s Rude Antics at California High-Speed Rail Conference

On January 11, 2013, a video camera recorded a stunning public tirade by Fresno’s top construction union official at a conference about supposed local contracting opportunities for the first segment of California’s High Speed Rail. Below is video footage of the beginning of a panel discussion about Project Labor Agreements, and below that is the […]

California’s “Prevailing Wage” – Floor Vacuuming at $45.93/Hour

California State Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills) is introducing a bill to address one of the numerous absurdities in California’s prevailing wage law: the $38-46 per hour wage paid to laborers who clean up construction sites after taxpayer-funded construction is finished. As revealed in a 2009 state wage enforcement action against a construction company working […]

How Will Students Celebrate Labor History Month in California Schools?

Do you have children or grandchildren in California public schools? You may need to give some counter-instruction at home to balance the material disseminated at school assemblies and through classroom instruction during Labor History Month. As enacted by Governor Jerry Brown in 2012 through Assembly Bill 2269, the entire month of May is now designated by the state government for […]

“Unite Here” Union Becomes San Diego’s Leading Environmental Organization

According to its national web site, UNITE HERE represents workers in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, and airport industries. But one might conclude, after looking at the public activities of UNITE-HERE Local Union No. 30 in San Diego, that UNITE HERE is actually an environmental organization, marketing itself as a much more aggressive alternative […]

Unions Creep Closer to Monopolizing California High-Speed Rail Construction

UPDATE (December 7, 2012): A article today in the Fresno Bee (‘Needy’ Workers Will Get Jobs on High-Speed Rail) about the “Community Benefits” policy approved on December 6, 2012 by the California High-Speed Rail Authority contains a stunning revelation: Five teams of contractors have been invited to bid on the first major contract for a stretch of the rail route between […]

Advancing the Union Agenda: A More Mundane Silicon Valley Ambition

As reported over the past few months in www.UnionWatch.org, almost all of the sixteen community college districts within 50 miles of San Francisco have succumbed to the union political agenda and now require their construction contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with trade unions as a condition of working on taxpayer-funded projects. And unions are busy […]

Tracking California’s November 2012 Elections Related to Labor Issues

California’s Proposition 32 is the country’s most high-profile election in November 2012 directly related to labor unions and labor policy issues. There are also several California local elections – particularly Measure V to enact a charter in the City of Costa Mesa – that will potentially strengthen or weaken union control of government. Here’s a summary of […]

Mysterious Union Slush Fund Spends $100,000 Against Costa Mesa Charter

As explained by the League of California Cities, the California Constitution gives cities the authority to enact “charters” and thereby manage their purely municipal affairs without interference from the state. Cities have been increasingly eager to seek charters in recent years in order to free themselves from costly state mandates. Since 2007, voters have increased […]

Unions Increase Control of California’s Community College Boards

On October 10, 2012, leaders of the Contra Costa County Building and Construction Trades Council finally succeeded in getting the Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board to implement a Project Labor Agreement acceptable to union leaders for future district construction. The vote was 3-1. This is perhaps the longest crusade ever in California for […]

Mailers Expose Union CEQA “Greenmail” Against Solar Developers

Residents of Kings County (in the San Joaquin Valley of California) see local opportunities for economic growth and job creation through the construction and operation of proposed solar-powered electrical generation facilities. At the same time, local residents worry about the possibility that out-of-town developers could build or partially build these solar power facilities on former farmland but […]

Will California Voters Reelect Supporters of Union Project Labor Agreements?

Election results for recent ballot measures in the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, Oceanside, and El Cajon and in the County of San Diego confirm consistent poll results showing that California voters want their local government officials to solicit bids for taxpayer-funded construction contracts under fair and open competition. They don’t want their local governments to require their contractors to sign […]

San Diego and Sacramento Asking Voters to Approve Over $3.0 Billion in Construction Bonds with Union Mandated Labor Agreements

Two California urban school districts notorious for requiring their construction contractors to sign Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) with construction trade unions will be asking voters to approve huge bond measures in the November 6, 2012 election. Voters have overwhelmingly approved two large bond measures during the past 15 years for both the San Diego Unified School District and the […]

California Supreme Court Supports Rights of Charter Cities Over State Legislature

California Supreme Court Declares that the State’s 121 Charter Cities Have a Constitutional Right to Circumvent the Union-Controlled State Legislature and Establish Their Own Policies Concerning Government-Mandated Construction Wage Rates for Taxpayer-Funded Construction Yesterday morning (July 2, 2012), the California Supreme Court ruled 5-2 in State Building and Construction Trades Council v. City of Vista […]

“Taxpayer Organizations” That Are Fronts For Unions

In November 2000, California voters approved Proposition 39, which allows school districts to seek voter approval for school construction bonds at a 55% threshold instead of a two-thirds threshold. One of the conditions in Proposition 39 required of school districts seeking the 55% threshold for passage is to establish a Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, with the requirement that “One member shall […]

Local Government Election Results in California Highly Relevant to Labor Issues

California’s primary election night was overshadowed by the support from Wisconsin voters for state elected officials who implemented a modest reform of collective bargaining for public employees. But here is an exclusive report on how the June 5, 2012 election also brought good results for advocates of fiscal responsibility and economic and personal freedom in California. Some […]