Project Labor Agreement Threats Surge in California in 2015

California’s construction trade unions greatly expanded their campaign in 2015 to get local elected officials to require construction companies to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions as a condition of winning a public works contract.

In 2015, 47 California local governments considered a union Project Labor Agreement mandate for future taxpayer-funded construction contracts. On a few occasions in 2015, Project Labor Agreements were on the meeting agendas of three California local governments on the same day.

Most of these 47 Project Labor Agreements will, would, or would have applied to bundles of future construction projects planned for many years into the future.

The number of Project Labor Agreement threats at California local governments can be graphed as a line that rises gradually higher for 15 years (1994-2008), then curves more dramatically upward in the following 6 years (2009-2014), and finally shoots up 150% in the last year (2015). This 22-year trend can also be depicted as radiation starting from the urban core of California coastal cities that spreads at a quickening pace deep into the suburbs.

See the table below listing the 47 governments and the status of their Project Labor Agreement activities.

Fawzy I. FawzyUC Los Angeles$354,469
Dennis L. MatthewsUC Davis$342,636
Marvin MarcusUC Los Angeles$337,346
John S. GreenspanUC San Francisco$326,070
George W. BreslauerUC Berkeley$315,720
Heinrich R SchelbertUC Los Angeles$314,027
Allan D. SiefkinUC Davis$309,593
Nosratola D VaziriUC Irvine$308,320
Joe W. GrayLawrence Berkeley$303,856
Richard W RollUC Los Angeles$303,170

Kevin Dayton is the President & CEO of Labor Issues Solutions, LLC, and is the author of frequent postings about generally unreported California state and local policy issues at Follow him on Twitter at @DaytonPubPolicy.

1 reply
  1. Avatar
    Richard Michael says:

    All these school districts will be using incredibly expensive borrowed money (bonds) that directly sock the taxpayers with the bill for these excessive and unwarrantedly extravagant projects.

    Look out California! 2016 is the year of the bonds! — Unless you put your foot down to squash them.

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