Building Trades Successful at Winning California Labor Federation Endorsements

July 15, 2016 - The State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, and its members and affiliates, were a major presence this week at the biennial convention of the California Labor Federation in Oakland, successfully gaining   the Federation’s endorsements for many Building Trades’ positions on candidates and ballot measures on California’s November 2016 ballot.

These important endorsements were the direct result of the unity and numbers of registered delegates from the Building Trades’ affiliated unions who actively participated in the process. If we had not had this strong attendance and delegates by numbers, many of our issues would have been ignored.

Issues carried by the Building Trades that were endorsed are as follows:

A resolution of opposition to “By Right,”the trailer bill that has been attached to the state budget. This trailer bill would take away the ability of all local Building Trades to engage on construction projects at city council meetings, planning approval committees, land use committees, and county boards of supervisors. It gives developers the ability to build (by right) with no oversight at the local level. It also removes CEQA as a consideration on these projects.

Assembly member Tom Daly, from the 69th Districtin Orange County, incredibly, received no endorsement from the local central labor council. Tom has been a close ally of the Building Trades and indeed carried AB 219, ensuring that prevailing wage be paid on construction site concrete delivery by Teamsters. This bill ended a 40-year loophole under which Teamster concrete drivers were cheated on the prevailing wage. The Building Trades/Teamster delegates present, with their vote, undid the “no endorsement” recommendation from Orange County and were successful in having Tom endorsed on the floor of the convention. He now is the labor-endorsed candidate for the 69th Assembly district.

Assembly District 12 (San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties) candidate Heath Flora, a retired union firefighter. The recommendation of the central labor council was for no endorsement. Heath is a strong supporter of the Building Trades and believes in prevailing wage and apprenticeship. The Building Trades delegates in attendance, in combination with the firefighters’ delegates, forced a change from no recommendation in Assembly District 12 to a full endorsement of Heath Flora.

Proposition 51:Provides a $9 billion bond for school and community college construction, ensuring modern educational facilities statewide while providing tens of thousands of construction jobs to Building Trades members.

Proposition 52: After an intensive fight the Building Trades prevailed and the Federation fully endorsed state fees on hospitals, federal Medi-Cal Matching funds. This will provide $4 billion for indigent care at no cost to the State of California. These uninsured patients’ costs are often passed off to our health care trust funds, which erode our ability to put more of a negotiated pay raise on our members’ checks.

Proposition 53:Known as the Cortopassi initiative, in reference to Dean Cortopassi, the wealthy landowner in the Central Valley who is funding the proposition, that requires any revenue bond, state or local, funded construction project over $2 billion total cost to be voted on statewide. The Federation opposed the deceptive measure that would erode local control and derail or delay critical improvements to local and state infrastructure and negatively impact Building Trades workers.

This is the highlight of the many issues Building Trades delegates participated in approving. We would like to thank all local unions that sent delegates and ensured that Building Trades workers’ voices and concerns were heard.

 

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