SBCTC Bulletins

Contractors named for fire zone debris removal

Oct. 27, 2017 - State and federal agencies have named two prime contractors to handle debris removal in the widespread Northern California wildfire zones where an estimated 6,700 homes and 1,700 businesses were destroyed in blazes earlier this month. (Read More)

Obama-era silica regulation finally in effect

Oct. 25, 2017 - After two delays, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has finally put into full effect new construction standards on silica exposure that were first issued last year by the Obama administration. (Read More)

SBCTC finalizes agreement with Tesoro

Oct. 13, 2017 - The State Building and Construction Trades Council has finalized a five-year Project Labor Agreement with California's biggest oil refiner, the Tesoro Corp. (Read More)

Prevailing wage called “imperative” to housing bills

Oct. 10, 2017 - State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter established a context in support of the prevailing wage in a Sacramento Bee story this week when he discussed how decent pay buys a highly skilled and trained work force that in the end cuts down on construction costs. (Read More)

OSHA safety grants remain intact for now; SBCTC schedules spring training sessions

Oct. 10, 2017 - Working people across the United States received some good news last month when the Senate Appropriations Committee voted out a bill to keep federal OSHA funding for next year at its current level. (Read More)

Three-year death toll hits 39 on NYC high rises

Sept 26, 2017 - Twice in one day last week, workers in New York City fell to their deaths in an epidemic that for two years has plagued high-rise construction in Manhattan. (Read More)

Another stall by Trump on silica standard

Sept 23, 2017 - More than 50 American workers can be expected to die - including an untold number in construction - under the Trump Administration's refusal for another month to enforce new standards to limit on-the-job exposure to silica. (Read More)

Another big night for the Building Trades: SB 2, SB 3, SB 35 Pass Assembly

Sept. 15, 2017 - The state Assembly completed work on three of several Building Trades-backed bills Thursday night in actions that represent a first and significant step towards California addressing its housing crisis. (Read More)

SBCTC-sponsored bill to protect CEQA passes Legislature

Sept. 14, 2017 - Big business interests will no longer be able to coerce local governments into approving their development projects under threat of costly special elections under a bill that has passed the Legislature and is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown. (Read More)

Assembly passes AB 1701, crushes rogue contractors with massive vote to end wage theft

Sept. 14, 2017 - Organized labor scored a crushing defeat of rogue developers and contractors when the state Assembly voted by an overwhelming margin to put a stop to wage theft in the construction industry. (Read More)

Building Trades score big fed court win on SB 54

Sept. 13, 2017 - In a major victory for the State Building Trades, two contractors that lodged a legal challenge to a state law that improves safety in California's oil refineries have dropped their federal court case. (Read More)

SBCTC president rips Press-Enterprise editorial

Sept. 7, 2017 - A letter to the editor by State Building and Construction Trades President Robbie Hunter tore into a Riverside Press-Enterprise editorial that was critical of the prevailing wage. (Read More)

Full steam ahead on High Speed Rail

Sept. 7, 2017 - If you thought that the California High Speed Rail project wasn't much more than the subject of controversy, you need to check out all the construction that's happening in the Fresno area. (Read More)

Bill to stop wage theft passes state Senate

Sept. 7, 2017 - With construction workers from all trades filling the gallery, the state Senate approved a bill Wednesday to end wage theft in California. The legislation still needs a concurrence vote from the Assembly, which already approved it, before it goes to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown. (Read More)

Three SBCTC-sponsored bills clear Legislature

September 7, 2017 - With the legislative session nearing its end, the State Building and Construction Trades Council has registered three victories on bills that have passed both houses and have been sent to Gov. Jerry Brown. (Read More)

It's Accountability Time In the Construction Industry

Aug. 29, 2017 - When it comes to protecting construction workers in the underground economy, the history of California has found that the buck stops . . . nowhere. (Read More)

Labor, lawmakers make push on housing bills

Aug. 28, 2017 - The State Building and Construction Trades Council, the California Federation of Labor, and seven state lawmakers held a press conference today to urge the Legislature to pass a package of bills to help fix the state's housing crisis. (Read More)

ICYMI: Building Trades, Ron Miller Go National

Aug. 18, 2017 - Be sure to check out the link below to the New York Times story on the terrific new USC Village project that opened recently across the street from the main campus south of downtown Los Angeles. (Read More)

Let's hold contractors accountable

Aug. 17, 2017 - It's about time that California held general contractors accountable when their "subs" cheat their workers out of their hard-earned money. (Read More)

SBCTC Statement on Hate

Aug. 16, 2017 - The State Building and Construction Trades Council of California represents more than 400,000 workers from every race, religion, nationality and gender. We provide our blue-collar work force with the training and skills that are necessary to support their families in the perpetual struggle to stay in the middle class. (Read More)

Don't let crooks take advantage of housing crisis

August 15, 2017 - State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter warned in a recent column about the forces of greed using California's housing crisis as a pretext to attack the prevailing wage. (Read More)

Time running out to take tech survey

Aug. 3, 2017 - You've only got one more week - until Aug. 10 - to take part in a survey to assess the health-and-safety impact of new technology in the construction industry. (Read More)

S.F. Chronicle hears from us on prevailing wage

Aug. 2, 2017 - Northern California's largest newspaper ran a Letter to the Editor today from State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter that took to task one of the paper's recent editorials. (Read More)

Building Trades Hit Back on Prevailing Wage

Aug. 1, 2017 - State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter used a recent op-ed column to punch holes in the false narrative that the prevailing wage undermines California's effort to resolve the low-income housing crisis. (Read More)

Construction workers win big on cap-and-trade bill

July 18, 2017 - The State Building and Construction Trades Council and the 400,000 workers that it represents scored an enormous victory Monday when the state Legislature approved two bills to extend California's cap-and-trade program to 2030 and improve air quality. (Read More)

L.A. Times, Sac Bee give ink to SBCTC President

July 17, 2017 - State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter's byline has made the rounds the last couple of days. (Read More)

Hunter supports renewable energy bill

July 14, 2017 - State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter gave a boost this week to the idea that California's electricity future needs more renewable sources like the wind and sun. (Read More)

ACTION NEEDED - Proposed Federal Budget Will Terminate OSHA Harwood Training Grant Program

July 7, 2017 - President Donald Trump's Department of Labor has proposed a $10.5 million budget cut that would score a direct hit on one of the State Building and Construction Trades Council's key job safety programs. (Read More)

Robbie Hunter: Don't mess with prevailing wage

July 6, 2017 - State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter had a column posted today on the Los Angeles Daily News web site that punched back at recent anti-union commentaries that have criticized state and national prevailing wage laws. (Read More)

SBCTC bills nearing the finish line

June 29, 2017 - With the Legislature's summer recess getting closer, the State Building and Construction and Trades Council of California is running strong with nearly a dozen bills that are moving towards enactment. (Read More)

Union calls for single-payer advocates to “tone down” attacks on Rendon

June 28, 2017 - Robbie Hunter, the president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents over 400,000 construction workers in California, released the following statement today: (Read More)

Thurmond Earns Building Trades Endorsement for State Schools Chief

June 26, 2017 - His focus, his experience, and the quality of his work are three big reasons the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California has decided to endorse Tony Thurmond for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. (Read More)

SBCTC Gives Nod to Hernandez for Lieutenant Governor

June 26, 2017 - State Sen. Ed Hernandez's long career promoting health and education, and his demonstrated concern for working families makes him a terrific candidate for Lieutenant Governor, for which the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California endorses him. (Read More)

Building Trades Endorse Ricardo Lara For State Insurance Commissioner

June 26, 2017 - An unwavering friend of labor for nearly seven years in elective office, State Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) has earned the endorsement of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California in his campaign for State Insurance Commissioner. (Read More)

Lawsuit Filed Against SB 954 by ABC Group and Anti-Union Contractor

January 10, 2017 - A lawsuit against SB 954 was filed by the ABC in their favorite venue, United States District Court in San Diego, noted for being unfriendly to worker issues. The Judge has not yet ruled on the preliminary injunction motion. (Read More)

New Study Shows Value of CEQA, Proves Attacks Against it are Entirely Untrue

September 22, 2016 - A newly released study of the California Environmental Quality Act, "CEQA in the 21st Century; Environmental Quality, Economic Prosperity, and Sustainable Development in California," vividly demonstrates that 46 years after Governor Ronald Reagan signed it, this law continues to provide broad benefits to the people of California, both in terms of environmental quality and economic prosperity, and that the frequent attacks against CEQA are entirely unfounded. (Read More)

Governor Brown Signs Bill to Fund Monterey County Water Project

September 14, 2016 - Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation to provide a $10 million grant from the state Department of Water Resources to the Monterey County Water Resources Agency for the purpose of constructing an underground water tunnel connecting the Lake Nacimiento and Lake San Antonio Reservoirs. (Read More)

New Building Trades Video “Why I Vote” Explains Importance of Union Members' Votes

September 13, 2016 - The State Building and Construction Trades Council has just produced a new video called "Why I Vote," in which union construction workers explain the importance of union members participating in the November presidential election in order to protect their jobs, wages, safe work environments, and quality of life for themselves and their families. (Read More)

Governor Brown Signs SBCTC Bill to Protect Construction Workers' Wages

September 8, 2016 - Dealing yet another major blow to anti-union, anti-worker contractors and organizations such as Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California to further ensure that funds from construction workers' wages are not deducted against their will and then used by anti-union employers to harm workers' interests. (Read More)

"By Right" Legislation, a Threat to Construction Workers' Wages, is Dead

August 24, 2016 - The "By Right" proposal, which would have allowed developers to avoid paying construction workers fair wages on large housing and commercial projects, has died, because of the unified opposition of all Building Trades' unions in California with a broad coalition of affordable housing community groups and environmental allies. (Read More)

Any Unions Doing Business With Benesys, Inc. Should Urge Them to Settle With Unions, Treat Employees

August 18, 2016 - The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is seeking and should receive the support of fellow unions in their dealings with Benesys, Inc. This company is a Health and Welfare and Pension Administrator that provides services to unions and takes union members' money, while engaging in anti-union activities, using anti-union law firms (the notorious Littler firm), and denying their own employees reasonable benefits. (Read More)

Building Trades Efforts Result in Cap and Trade Funding for Transportation Projects

August 18, 2016 - The California State Transportation Agency this week announced $390 million in funding for new transportation projects across the state, made possible by State Building Trades efforts to invest cap and trade funds for transportation in 2015. (Read More)

Building Trades Bill To Protect Workers' Wages Sent to Governor

August 12, 2016 - Senate Bill 954, legislation sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California to further ensure that construction workers' wages are not deducted without their approval and then used by anti-union, anti-worker contractors and organizations against the workers' best interests, was sent to Governor Jerry Brown's desk today following a Senate vote to concur in Assembly amendments to the measure. (Read More)

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. (Read More)

Senate Approves SBCTC-Sponsored Legislation to Protect Workers' Paychecks

April 22, 2016 - The State Senate has approved legislation, sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council, to protect workers' wages by requiring that employees give their consent before funds are deducted from their paychecks to promote "industry advancement programs," that may not serve the workers' best interests. (Read More)

Building Trades Elects Officers & Adopts Resolutions at 62nd Convention

February 11, 2016 - At the 62nd convention of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, in Sacramento February 4 and 5, 2016, the 209 delegates representing nearly 400,000 workers in 14 affiliated trades, elected officers to serve new four-year terms, adopted resolutions on issues of importance to the Trades, and reviewed newly produced Building Trades videos. Here are summaries of those actions. (Read More)

Obstructionism Will Destroy Our Precious Delta

February 9, 2016 - Last week, the Sacramento Bee published an opinion column by State Building Trades President Robbie Hunter supporting Governor Jerry Brown's California Water Fix proposal to improve water transport through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and protect fragile delta habitat, and calling for an end to obstructionist tactics aimed at stalling the program. (Read More)

Court of Appeal Hears Oral Argument in Cities' Challenge to Senate Bill 7

January 13, 2016 - The California Court of Appeal heard oral argument on January 11 in the lawsuit filed by five charter cities to challenge Senate Bill 7, which provides that charter cities are eligible for discretionary State construction funding only if the city requires payment of prevailing wages on all its public works projects. (Read More)

Triumphant Day for Building Trades: Three Votes, Three New PLAs

November 19, 2015 - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 was a historically triumphant day for California Building Trades workers, as three different governmental bodies in three different regions of the state, each without a single dissenting vote, all chose to enter into project labor agreements with their regional Building Trades councils. (Read More)

Unified Building Trades Effort Saves Federal Prevailing Wage

November 6, 2015 - With 54 Republicans joining Democrats, an effort to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act that ensures prevailing wage for construction workers on federal public works projects was defeated this week in the House of Representatives. (Read More)

Building Trades Executive Board Endorses $15 per Hour Minimum Wage for All Workers

October 22, 2015 - The Executive Board of the State Building and Construction Trades Council has voted to raise the minimum wage in California for all workers to $15 per hour, with no exceptions. (Read More)

Governor Brown Signs Four More Important SBCTC Bills at 2015 Signing Deadline

October 13, 2015 - Governor Jerry Brown signed four more SBCTC-sponsored measures in the final moments before this year's signing deadline this past weekend, capping another spectacularly successful year in which we sponsored eight bills, seven of which were signed into law. Once again, the unity, political participation, and energy of our trades and members have made a crucial difference for California. (Read More)

SBCTC Bills Encouraging PLAs & Protecting Prevailing Wage Reach Governor

September 17, 2015 - In the closing days of the 2015 legislative session, several important bills sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California won final legislative approval and reached Governor Jerry Brown's desk, where they now await his signature. (Read More)

Passage of SB 350 to Bring Massive New Construction Job Creation for Renewable Energy

September 16, 2015 - The passage of Senate Bill 350 in the closing moments of the 2015 legislative session last week is fantastic news for Building and Construction Trades workers in California. (Read More)

SBCTC Bill to Pay Prevailing Wage to All Ready-Mixed Concrete Drivers On its Way to Governor

September 3, 2015 - The Senate this week approved State Building Trades, Teamster and California Labor Federation sponsored legislation to close a loophole that currently denies some drivers of ready-mixed concrete on public works projects the right to earn prevailing wage. (Read More)

SBCTC Calls on Union Reps to Attend Safety Training

July 24, 2015 - Action Needed - REGISTER ONLINE NOW - The SBCTC kicks off our new Summer Safety Series on Thursday, August 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Sacramento. This first of four sessions is open to all crafts and will cover Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention, a topic critical to all construction workers and their families. Union staff, apprenticeship reps, contractors, workers are all welcome to attend. (Read More)

Newspaper Column Criticizes SBCTC Bills - Pres. Robbie Hunter Submits Response

July 23, 2015 - The San Diego Union-Tribune earlier this week published a column by conservative columnist Steven Greenhut criticizing several State Building and Construction Trades Council-sponsored bills to encourage project labor agreements on school construction projects. President Robbie Hunter has submitted a response to the newspaper, pointing out the flaws in the column and the merits of our bills. (Read More)

Governor Signs SBCTC Bill to Protect Building Trades Apprenticeship Programs

July 21, 2015 - On July 16th, Governor Brown signed legislation sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council that protects all state approved successful apprenticeship programs by reinforcing the "need standard." (Read More)

Anti-Union Construction Association Cite Effectiveness of Building Trades Legislation

June 25, 2015 - Anti-union construction interests in California are continuing their desperate sounding pleas to try to stop bills sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC) that would have the effect of increasing school districts' use of a skilled and trained workforce that has graduated from state-approved apprenticeship programs, on school construction projects, delivering a highly trained, streamlined work force, and ensuring quality of school construction under the lowest bid. (Read More)

Building Trades Involved in Partnership to Battle California's Underground Economy

June 16, 2015 - As part of our mission to protect the rights and interests of working families in California, the State Building and Construction Trades Council is working in partnership with state agencies to battle against the underground economy. (Read More)

Urgent Action Needed Today: Tell Congress Members No on Fast Track

June 9, 2015 - Congress is planning to vote this Thursday, June 11, on the Fast Track Trans Pacific Partnership, the so-called free-trade agreement that threatens American workers' jobs and livelihoods. A very close vote is expected and several members from California are still undecided. They need to hear from us now. (Read More)

Last Remaining Lawsuit Over SB 54 Ends!

April 28, 2015 - SBCTC Refinery Safety Bill is Unchallenged Law - Attorneys for the plaintiffs in Harley Morgan v. State of California, the last remaining lawsuit seeking to overturn SB 54, the State Building and Construction Trades Council-sponsored law to improve safety at refineries by requiring the use of workers from state-approved apprenticeship programs, filed a request for dismissal in Kern County Superior Court on April 23. That action ends the sole remaining challenge to this important new law. (Read More)

California Building Trades Legislative Update

April 28, 2015 - On April 22, in various committees in the California State Assembly, State Building Trades representatives met direct opposition from contractors associations and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) lobbyists on six sponsored bills. In each committee, State Building Trades sponsored legislation moved forward, over the objection of the ABC's representatives. (Read More)

Building Trades Bill to Close Prevailing Wage Loophole Approved by Assembly

April 7, 2015 - A State Building Trades sponsored bill to protect prevailing wage on private construction projects that receive public subsidies was approved by the full Assembly Monday, by a vote of 50 to 28, with all Democrats in support and all Republicans opposed. (Read More)

New Prevailing Wage Study is Extremely Useful for Explaining Falsehoods

March 10, 2015 - A new study from the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, "West Virginia's Prevailing Wage: Good for Business, Good for Workers" by economist Sean O'Leary, should prove extremely useful for Building Trades unions seeking to disprove the claims of prevailing wage opponents that prevailing wage significantly increases the cost of public construction. The Center is a independent non-partisan, non-profit, statewide organization that is dedicated to efficiency in government. (Read More)

Attacks on Prevailing Wage Continue At California's Doorstep, Across Nation

February 20, 2015 - While the Building Trades at this time are in a position of strength in California, having worked to elect statewide officials and legislators with a strong understanding of issues important to blue-collar working families, events around the country illustrate that we must be ever vigilant for the possibility of future Republican governors who would work against us. (Read More)

Building Trades Jobs Depend on Supporting Bay Delta Conservation Plan

February 13, 2015 - Following the lead of the Governor, the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC) strongly supports the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to ensure a reliable supply of water, and is supportive of Californians for Water Security (CWS), a group of diverse California interests that agree on the need for rapid, decisive action to move forward with the BDCP. (Read More)

Michigan Republicans Make Ending Prevailing Wage Top Priority

January 22, 2015 - Despite the many legislative victories for working families in California the past few years, the war on workers around the country remains very much alive. (Read More)

San Diego Narrowly Averts Financial Crisis: Clarifies PLAs Are Not Banned

January 15, 2015 - Reacting directly to legislation sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, the San Diego City Council has narrowly averted a financial crisis by clarifying its position that Project Labor Agreements are not banned in the city. The U-T San Diego newspaper reported that as a result, the city may therefore continue to receive state funding for its construction projects. (Read More)

Ground Broken on High Speed Rail; Construction is Underway!

January 7, 2015 - Construction of California's High Speed Rail system is officially underway, following a groundbreaking ceremony in Fresno on January 6, attended by Governor Jerry Brown, State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter and many other community, transportation and business leaders, and many representatives of our trades. (Read More)

Multiple Victories for High Speed Rail: Groundbreaking January 6 in Fresno

December 15, 2014 - California's High Speed Rail project scored a slew of victories in recent days, supported by the State Building Trades, as the long-awaited transportation improvement gained tremendous momentum to move forward. (Read More)

Wave of Cities Rushing to Enact Prevailing Wage Laws to Comply with SB 7

November 18, 2014 - Driven by the desire to receive state funding for construction, charter cities across California that had previously exempted themselves from prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are rushing this month to enact new measures that require prevailing wages and apprenticeship training on all their projects. (Read More)

Fresno City Council Votes to Allow PLAs, Pay Prevailing Wage on Local Projects

November 13, 2014 - Reacting to the passage of State Building and Construction Trades Council sponsored bills SB 922, SB 829, and SB 7, the Fresno City Council has approved two measures to bring the city into compliance with those laws, by repealing its ban on project labor agreements, and requiring payment of prevailing wage to workers on municipal public works projects. (Read More)

Court of Appeal Denies Petition to Delay Implementation of SB 7/SB 922/SB 829

November 10, 2014 - The Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District rejected a petition filed by the Cities of Fresno, El Centro, Carlsbad, Oceanside, El Cajon and Vista seeking to delay the implementation of SB 7/SB 922/SB 829. (Read More)

San Mateo and Mountain View Enact Laws Requiring Prevailing Wage

November 6, 2014 - Cities across California continue to respond to the State Building and Construction Trades Council sponsored Senate Bill 7, by taking action to protect their state construction funding by specifying that prevailing wage must be paid on municipal public works contracts. (Read More)

Building Trades Take on Three Charter City Ballot Measures

November 5, 2014 - Thanks to the united, energetic efforts of local building trades councils, three different charter city ballot measures—designed to avoid paying workers on municipal construction projects the prevailing wage—were all defeated Tuesday by overwhelming margins. In two of those cities, it was the second time voters rejected switching to a charter city, and both by larger margins than before. (Read More)

San Diego Clarifies City Ordinance: Project Labor Agreements are Permitted

October 23, 2014 - Driven by the desire to remain eligible for state funding for infrastructure projects, the San Diego City Council acted this week to clarify that the city government remains free to consider Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for municipal public works projects. (Read More)

Charter Cities Switching to Prevailing Wage, Thanks to Your Action on SB 7

October 22, 2014 - The unified, determined voices of the Building Trades and its affiliated unions that convinced the Legislature and Governor to enact Senate Bill 7 in 2013, will be bringing real, tangible benefits to construction workers in charter cities across California beginning next January 1. (Read More)

State Supreme Court Removes Final Legal Hurdle to High Speed Rail

October 15, 2014 - The California Supreme Court today ended a lengthy legal challenge that has delayed the construction of California's High Speed Rail system, by declining to consider an appeal to an August Court of Appeals decision that ruled the High Speed Rail financing plan was valid and proper. (Read More)

New York Times Editorial Spotlights ABC's Wage, Hour, Safety Violations

October 14, 2014 - In a recent Editorial entitled "The Right to Cheat and Maim?," the New York Times criticized the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) for insisting on the right to bid on federal projects while failing to correct violations in federal wage, hours and safety laws. (Read More)

Building Trades, Working With Legislature and Governor, Make 2014 Another Productive Year

October 1, 2014 - Governor Jerry Brown has signed a package of bills sponsored and supported by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC), and sent to him by the Legislature, that make 2014 another highly productive year for California Building Trades workers that will benefit all Californians for years to come. (Read More)

Health and Safety Conference in Berkeley For Workers, Organizers, Business Reps

September 29, 2014 - The Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP), Worksafe, and other organizations are co-sponsoring a one-day conference on workplace health and safety in Berkeley, on Saturday, November 8. The State Building and Construction Trades Council (SBCTC) has partnered with these organizations for many years and can vouch for their top-notch training programs. (Read More)

Governor Signs Bill to Protect Workers From Dishonest Labor Contractors

September 29, 2014 - Governor Jerry Brown has signed important legislation to hold businesses liable when labor contractors supply workers and then fail to adhere to rules to protect workers. (Read More)

Governor Brown Signs Bill to Speed Up Correcting Dangerous Working Conditions

September 22, 2014 - Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation, co-sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC) and the California Labor Federation, that requires dangerous working conditions to be corrected quickly, rather than remaining unfixed while employers appeal the findings against them. (Read More)

SBCTC Health and Safety Funding Approved for Fourth Year

September 22, 2014 - OSHA has approved funding of $175,500 for the fourth year of our State Building and Construction Trades Council (SBCTC) Health and Safety program. (Read More)

Updated-Building Trades Endorsements of Statewide Candidates & Propositions on November Ballot

September 15, 2014 - We previously provided an endorsement bulletin prior to the California Labor Federation Biennial Convention. However, several changes to the November ballot were made during the month of August. (Read More)

Governor Brown Signs Historic Law Valuable New Tool for Construction Unions

September 12, 2014 - Governor Jerry Brown this week signed into law Assembly Bill 1522 (by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego), which requires that California workers be allowed three paid sick days per year. (Read More)

Sweeping Victories for Building Trades; Court Upholds SB 7, SB 922, SB 829

September 3, 2014 - The State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC), and the 400,000 skilled construction workers it represents, earned a series of truly landmark legal victories in the last two weeks, when San Diego County Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil issued a ruling upholding the validity of all of our most important recent legislative accomplishments. (Read More)

Prevailing Wage Requirement Ruled Constitutional

September 2, 2014 - Court Upholds SB 7 Conditions that Protect Workers in Charter Cities. In a decisive victory for Building Trades workers, a San Diego Superior Court Judge has upheld State Building and Construction Trades Council (SBCTC) sponsored Senate Bill 7, to require charter cities to pay prevailing wage on municipal projects as a condition of receiving state construction funding. (Read More)

Building Trades Efforts Help Send Water Bond to November Ballot

August 15, 2014 - A widespread advocacy effort by local Building Trades unions and councils helped make the decisive difference this week as the Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown agreed on the terms of a $7.5 billion water bond to go before California's voters in this November's election. (Read More)

2014 Women's Conference Newsletter

August 8, 2014 - Read about the 2014 Conference and learn more about the plans that are being made for the 2015 Conference. (Read More)

Republicans Launch Latest Attack On Prevailing Wage and Skilled Workers

August 6, 2014 - The never-ending attack on working families by Republican politicians has gathered new steam recently, with a block of 10 Republican U.S. Senators from the South and Midwest introducing new legislation to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act, the 1931 law requiring that wages paid on federal public works projects are at levels prevailing in the locality of the project for similar crafts and skills on comparable construction work. (Read More)

Major Victory for High Speed Rail Appellate Court Approves Sale of Bonds

August 1, 2014 - In a major court victory for supporters of California's High Speed Rail System, a California Court of Appeals has cleared the way for issuance of bonds to finance High Speed Rail construction, setting aside an erroneous lower court decision that had temporarily blocked the bonds. (Read More)

Burbank-Palmdale High Speed Rail Segment Accelerated

July 2, 2014 - In a move that will strengthen support for High Speed Rail in Southern California, construction of the system's section linking Burbank to Palmdale has been moved earlier in the process. (Read More)

New State Budget is the Best in Many Years For Crucial Building Trades Priorities

June 17, 2014 - Meeting into the late hours Sunday night, both houses of the State Legislature on Sunday gave final approval to a 2014-15 state budget that provides funding for many programs strongly supported by the State Building Trades, that will create thousands of good new jobs for California's Building Trades workers. (Read More)

Senate, Assembly Agree on Budget Language to Fund Prevailing Wage Enforcement

May 22, 2014 - In a major victory for California Building Trades workers and honest contractors, Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees have agreed on budget language that will guarantee adequate funding for prevailing wage enforcement, and also establishes important minimum qualifications for contractors on public works projects (Read More)

$372 Million Made Available Statewide for School Construction and Modernization Projects

April 16, 2014 - The State Allocation Board (SAB) recently allocated more than $372 million in bond funds for 105 school construction and modernization projects across 43 school districts in California. (Read More)

Statement of the SBCTC re: Lawsuit Challenging Senate Bill 7

February 26, 2014 - The California Legislature adopted bi-partisan legislation in 2013 to promote good jobs for Californians and to ensure the future skilled workforce for vital infrastructure projects. (Read More)

SBCTC Offers New Safety Training on Construction Toxics

January 16, 2014 - Don't miss the State Building and Construction Trade Council's new 2014 train-the-trainer class on preventing exposure to hazardous dusts, fumes, and vapors in the construction trades. The SBCTC, in partnership with the U.C. Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Program, has developed a new curriculum on toxics in construction. (Read More)

Act Now to Benefit from SBCTC Training on Construction Toxics

February 12, 2014 - Reminder - The first of the State Building and Construction Trade Council's valuable new 2014 classes on preventing exposure to hazardous dusts, fumes and vapors in the construction trades is right around the corner. (Read More)

Next Senate Leader Proudly Announces SBCTC Re-election Endorsement

February 5, 2014 - State Senator Kevin de Leon, whom fellow Senators have agreed will become the next President pro tem of the Senate later this year, recently issued a press release to announce his endorsement for re-election by the California Building Trades. (Read More)

2014 Women's Conference

This Conference is designed to bring together women who work in every craft in the building and construction trades and to offer the support needed to navigate a long career in construction. (Read More)

Gov. Jerry Brown Announces Appointments to the California Apprenticeship Council

December 10, 2013 - Governor Jerry Brown has announced eight appointments to the California Apprenticeship Council (CAC). These appointments are vitally important to California Building Trades workers and the state's economy because the CAC oversees apprenticeship programs to ensure quality and makes decisions on the approval and expansion of apprenticeship programs. (Read More)

Governor Signs Senate Bill 7 To Protect Prevailing Wage

October 14, 2013 - Governor Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 7, the SBCTC-sponsored bill to remove funding for public works projects for charter cities that refuse to pay prevailing wage. (Read More)

Governor Brown Signs SB 54 to Improve Safety at Refineries

October 14, 2013 - Governor Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 54, to improve safety at refineries by ensuring that skilled workers who have graduated from a state approved apprenticeship program perform a high percentage of the complex and dangerous work at chemical manufacturing facilities. (Read More)

SBCTC is Actively Engaging News Media In SB 54 Debate

October 8, 2013 - As part of our ongoing efforts to urge Governor Jerry Brown to sign Senate Bill 54, State Building Trades Council President Robbie Hunter is actively engaging with the news media to ensure that the reasons why this important measure is needed are publicized. Following are two examples of our outreach, and the hostile commentaries to which they respond. (Read More)

New Funding, New Website - SBCTC Safety and Health Training Program Moves Forward

October 3, 2013 - OSHA has approved the third year of our SBCTC Health and Safety program. This means we will continue to support affiliates, apprenticeship programs and contractors by offering training and resources on a variety of safety and health issues impacting our workers, and expand our training repertoire in 2014. (Read More)

High Speed Rail Still on Track

October 1, 2013 - New York, NY—Major media outlets reported over the weekend a poll showing 52 percent of California voters want to stop the country's first true high speed rail system because it'll cost too much money. But the California building trades believes the project will move forward because it still has strong political support. (Read More)

SB 54, SBCTC's Refinery Safety Bill Overwhelmingly Approved by Assembly

September 10, 2013 - Senate Bill 54, the SBCTC-Sponsored bill to secure jobs for Building Trades members and improve safety at dangerous chemical manufacturing facilities, including refineries, was approved by the State Assembly on a 51-24 vote. (Read More)

Assembly Overwhelmingly Approves SBCTC-Sponsored Senate Bill 7

September 4, 2013 - Senate Bill 7, the legislation sponsored by the State Building Trades to provide incentives to charter cities to pay prevailing wage on municipal projects in order to receive state funding, was approved Wednesday by the full Assembly by a 51-18 vote. (Read More)

State Senate Approves Two SBCTC Bills to Protect and Expand Prevailing Wage

September 3, 2013 - Two important bills, sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council, to protect and expand construction workers' right to earn prevailing wage on public works projects won approval from the state Senate today. (Read More)

Another Win for Workers, Defeat for ABC and the League of Cities!

August 28, 2013 - Governor Brown signs our bill to reform charter city elections. Governor Jerry Brown announced today that he has signed State Building and Construction Trades Council (SBCTC) sponsored Senate Bill 311 into law. This bill by Senator Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, was designed to increase local voter participation in elections to convert general law cities to charter cities, by requiring that the charter measure be placed on the ballot in a November general election. (Read More)

Governor Brown Signs Our Bill to Defund Sham Labor Compliance Committees

August 27, 2013 - Big Defeat for ABC, Great Victory for Workers! Governor Jerry Brown announced today that he has signed Senate Bill 776 into law, legally ending the dishonest practice of using workers' wages to fund sham labor compliance committees that actually work against workers' best interests. (Read More)

SBCTC President Emeritus Bob Balgenorth Appointed to Investigate BART Dispute

August 5, 2013 - Governor Jerry Brown has announced that he has appointed SBCTC President Emeritus Bob Balgenorth to a three-member panel charged with investigating and reporting on the contract dispute between Bay Area Rapid Transit and its unions. (Read More)

San Diego City Council Approves Prevailing Wage on Municipal Projects

July 31, 2013 - Great Job, San Diego Workers! Congratulations to the San Diego Building Trades Council, in recognition of the hard work of Business Manager Tom Lemmon, all area affiliates and workers and their allies, for a great victory. (Read More)

SBCTC Legislation to Protect PLAs is Working

July 25, 2013 - ABC is Noticing and Reporting our Success. In a recent communication to its members, the anti-union lobbying group Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), through their operative Kevin Dayton, reported on the effectiveness of SBCTC legislation to ensure cities and counties remain free to consider PLAs for their public works projects. State Building Trades' sponsored Senate Bill 922 from 2011 and Senate Bill 829 from 2012 prohibit cities and counties from imposing blanket prohibitions on PLAs in order to qualify for state funding. (Read More)

News Coverage Praises SBCTC's San Diego Courthouse PLA

June 18, 2013 - The current issue of the Bureau of National Affairs' Construction Labor Report includes a report on the State Building Trades' project labor agreement to build a new $586 million state courthouse in San Diego. (Read More)

Building Trades' Legislation Advances Through Committees

June 18, 2013 - Three important State Building Trades sponsored bills designed to protect workers' wages advanced through policy committees in the past week. The measures had all previously been approved by either the Senate or Assembly, and are now moving through their second house. (Read More)

Labor Commissioner Holds General Contractors and Subcontractors Jointly Liable for Wage Violations

June 7, 2013 - In an important victory for Building Trades workers, state Labor Commissioner Julie Su has announced decisions holding both general contractors and subcontractors alike jointly liable when a contractor or subcontractor fails to pay prevailing wage. The contractors and subcontractors were held liable for nearly $750,000 for public works and labor law violations affecting 89 workers on four projects. (Read More)

Attacks on Prevailing Wage Intensify Around the Country

June 5, 2013 - Throughout the country, in states where conservative Republicans have gained control of state governments, attacks on the prevailing wage continue to move forward. (Read More)

SBCTC Legislation Protecting Communities & Workers on Greenhouse Gas Reduct Projects Clears Assembly

May 30, 2013 - Today the Assembly approved State Building Trades sponsored legislation to protect workers and communities in areas with greenhouse gas reduction projects funded by a fee on refineries through the state's cap-and-trade program with a fifty-one to twenty-five ballot. The legislation is Assembly Bill 26, by Assembly member Susan Bonilla, D-Concord (Read More)

SBCTC Bill, AB 1140 Approved by Assembly

May 30, 2013 - State Building Trades sponsored legislation to ensure that construction workers earn the prevailing wage in effect at the time they perform their work, rather than when a contract went to bid, sometimes several years earlier, was approved by the Assembly today. (Read More)

SBCTC's Prevailing Wage Bill Convincingly Passes State Senate

May 28, 2013 - Senate Bill 7, the legislation sponsored by the State Building Trades to provide incentives to charter cities to pay prevailing wage on municipal projects in order to receive state funding, was approved Wednesday by the full Senate, on a 28-10 vote. (Read More)

State Allocation Board Disburses $519.9 Million for School Construction

May 23, 2013 - The State Allocation Board announced this week that it has disbursed $519.9 million for 230 new school construction and modernization projects across 92 school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools statewide. This state funding will complement local construction funding as well. (Read More)

ABC Communication Shows Worry About SBCTC Bill to Defund Sham Compliance Committees

May 16, 2013 - In the latest communication to its members, Associated Builders and Contractors ("ABC") the anti-union lobbying group, is showing fear about the prospects of SB 776, the State Building Trades bill to stop them from deducting money from workers' paychecks to fund sham labor compliance committees. In actuality, these moneys are being used to undermine these very workers, attack prevailing wage and fund ABC's anti-union activities. The bill passed the Senate last week on a 24-10 vote. (Read More)

Measures to Lower Two-Thirds Local Tax Thresholds to 55% Pass Committe

May 16, 2013 - Several proposed state constitutional amendments to lower the threshold by which voters can enact local tax increases from the current two-thirds to a more realistic 55 percent were approved Wednesday by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. The measures are supported by the State Building Trades, and all passed on party line votes with Democrats in support, Republicans against. (Read More)

California Labor Leaders Strongly Oppose Newspaper Sale to Anti-Union Extremists

May 14, 2013 - The State Building Trades has joined with nine other labor organizations, that collectively represent 2.1 million working Californians, to strongly urge shareholders in the media group that owns the Los Angeles Times and other major newspapers not to sell those newspapers to the infamous Koch Brothers due to their long history of efforts that are "anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-public education and anti-immigrant." (Read More)

Senate Approves Bill to Stop Funding ABC Sham Labor Compliance Committees

May 9, 2013 - Senate Bill 776 - The California Senate today approved SBCTC-sponsored legislation to stop anti-union contractors and groups like Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) to take earnings from workers' paychecks to fund their sham labor compliance committees. The bill, SB 776 by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, does so by eliminating automatic deductions to non-union employer committees. It was approved by a 24-10 vote with one Republican, Senator Anthony Cannella of Ceres, joining 23 Democrats in support. SB 776 now moves to the Assembly. (Read More)

SBCTC Bill to Reform Charter City Elections Approved by State Senate

May 6, 2013 - Senate Bill 311 - Building Trades sponsored legislation designed to increase local voter participation in elections to convert general law cities to charter cities, by requiring that the charter measure be placed on the ballot in a statewide general election, won approval from the state Senate today. Senate Bill 311, authored by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, was approved by a 25-9 vote (Read More)

Assembly Approves Legislation to Build North Fork Rancheria Casino

May 2, 2013 - Over 1,200 Construction Jobs! The Assembly today approved legislation to allow construction to start on the new North Fork Rancheria Casino in Madera County. This project will be built under an all-union project labor agreement with the Building Trades, and will create over 1,200 construction jobs and bring a total of 5,000 new jobs to the region. (Read More)

Bills to Protect & Expand Prevailing Wage Approved by Committees

April 10, 2013 - Two important bills, sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council, to protect and expand construction workers' rights to earn prevailing wage on public works projects, were approved by committees of the State Legislature this week. (Read More)

State Building Trades' Prevailing Wage Bill Clears First Committee

March 14, 2013 - Senate Bill 7, the legislation sponsored by the State Building Trades to require charter cities to pay prevailing wage on municipal projects in order to receive state funding, was approved Wednesday by the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. The bipartisan legislation is authored by Democratic Senate president pro tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento and Republican Senator Anthony Cannella of Ceres. (Read More)

Broad Coalition Defends CEQA; Building Trades Members Lobby Legislature

March 14, 2013 - A wide coalition of groups at the state Capitol this week announced the formation of a new united coalition in support of maintaining California's landmark environmental protection law, the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. (Read More)

SBCTC Legislative Update: SB 7 - Fighting for Prevailing Wage

March 5, 2013 -This bulletin is the first in a regular series that will be posted in the coming weeks to provide you information on the substance and progress of legislation sponsored by the State Building Trades. We start today with Senate Bill 7, co-authored by Democratic Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento and Republican Senator Anthony Cannella of Ceres. That bipartisan co-authorship alone is great news. (Read More)

Bill Introduced to Keep Charter Cities Paying Prevailing Wage

February 21, 2013 - Bipartisan legislation sponsored by the State Building Trades was unveiled this week to make charter cities eligible for state funds for public works projects only if they pay the prevailing wage. Currently, the anti-union group Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) lobbies charter cities to pay less than prevailing wage, and lobbies general law cities to become charter cities for the purpose of removing prevailing wage. Senate Bill 7 addresses that problem. (Read More)

ABC Rages Against Infrastructure & High Speed Rail Construction Jobs

January 24, 2013 - The ABC continues to publish angry reactions to the good construction jobs that are coming to California with the development of high speed rail. In a post on the anti-union website this week, longtime ABC lobbyist Kevin Dayton complained about the "fantastic return" workers will receive from high speed rail. He complains that we are benefiting handsomely as the result of our long and effective activism on behalf of high speed rail, and that the project will be among the "lasting accomplishments of union labor." ABC's complaints serve to affirm the results we achieve when we are completely unified. (Read More)

Building Trades Endorses Governor's State of the State Message

January 24, 2013 - SBCTC President Robbie Hunter issued the following statement today following Governor Jerry Brown's State of the State speech. "Governor Brown's State of the State speech showed wisdom and foresight, and an exciting vision for our future. We support his call to spend our tax dollars wisely and efficiently. (Read More)

ABC Intensifies Campaign Against High Speed Rail and Infrastructure

January 14, 2013 - Thousands of good construction jobs are on their way to California as work approaches on the first segment of California's High Speed Rail project this year, in spite of Associated Builders and Contractors' (ABC - the lobbying group for non-union contractors) continuing and intensifying efforts against California's infrastructure project mainly because of the good union construction jobs it will bring. (Read More)

Workers' Friend, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis Announces Resignation

January 10, 2013 - Expressing her desire to spend more time in California near friends and family, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis - an extraordinary friend of working people - has announced her retirement. (Read More)

Registration Open for Third Women Building California and the Nation Conference

January 7, 2013 - Brochures are in the mail and on-line registration is now open for the third Women Building California and the Nation Conference. (This is also the 12th California conference.) This year the conference will be held on April 5-7 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. (Read More)

New Fall Prevention Program for SBCTC Affiliates, Apprenticeship Programs and Contractors

January 3, 2013 - Apply now to attend "Down To Zero-Eliminate Falls/Save Lives" a new SBCTC training campaign on Fall Prevention and Rescue Planning, coming in February and March. The sessions will be held February 20-21 in Benicia, March 5-6 in the City of Commerce, and March 19-20 in San Diego. (Read More)

State Allocation Board Disburses $383.8 Million for School Construction

January 2, 2013 - At the December meeting of the State Allocation Board (SAB), the board announced the disbursement of $383.8 million for new school construction and modernization projects across 96 school districts for 196 construction projects. The majority of the state funds will be matched by local school district construction funding with construction on these projects expected to commence within 90 days. (Read More)

Charter Measure Loses Recount Final in Grover Beach

December 13, 2012 - A recount of ballots cast on Measure I-12, to convert Grover Beach in San Luis Obispo County from a general law to a charter city, has been completed and confirms that the measure lost by four votes out of approximately 4,500 cast. (Read More)

L.A. City Council OKs Huge USC University Village Project

December 13, 2012 - With a unanimous 15-0 vote, the Los Angeles City Council has given final approval to the $1.1 billion University Village project on the USC campus. The project will create 4,000 construction jobs, all union, pursuant to a PLA with the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. It will be the largest construction project in the USC vicinity in decades. (Read More)

Helmets to Hardhats Program has Served Thousands of Veterans

December 11, 2012 - Newly released statistics show that Helmets to Hardhats, the Building Trades' program to assist returning military veterans transitioning to civilian life by helping them find good careers in the construction industry, has resulted in quality construction careers for thousands of veterans. (Read More)

Final Count Shows All Three Charter City Measures on November Ballot Failed

November 20, 2012 - We beat ABC in Escondido, Costa Mesa and Grover Beach. Final ballot counts show that ABC-backed measures to convert three California cities from general law to charter status, for the purpose of avoiding paying construction workers prevailing wage, have all failed. (Read More)

Building Trades Unions and Workers Produce Numerous Bond Victories Up and Down the State

November 15, 2012 - The California Building Trades councils, unions, business agents, members, and apprentices should feel immense pride in what we all accomplished on Election Day. The passage of over one hundred badly needed revenue increases is simply spectacular for the California construction industry. Here are some highlights: (Read More)

SBCTC Releases Newly-Produced Video on Prevailing Wage: “Right the First Time”

November 15, 2012 - The State Building Trades Council is proud to announce its latest video production, Right the First Time, is available on the web. This video shows how paying prevailing wages supports our cities, counties and the California economy by ensuring a trained and ready workforce that gets the job done right the first time. (Read More)

School Bonds, Potential Future PLAs, on Ballots Around California

November 5, 2012 - Throughout this campaign season we've been stressing the importance of passing Propositions 30 and 39, and soundly defeating Proposition 32. We repeat those messages here one more time: Propositions 30 and 39 raise needed state revenue that will support job-creating public works projects, and Proposition 32 is a cynical, dishonest measure to rob working people of their political voice. If you haven't already, vote, and get your friends and colleagues to vote: Yes on 30, Yes on 39, and No on 32. (Read More)

We Must Pass Proposition 30 to Protect Job Creating Public Works Projects

October 25, 2012 - With our determined opposition to Proposition 32, which we must defeat, Building Trades Workers must also spread the word that it is vital to our future to pass Proposition 30, the Governor's revenue plan that implements an income tax increase on the wealthiest Californians in addition to a small uptick in the sales tax. (Read More)

ABC Contributing Money to Yes on 32 Campaign to Silence Union Workers

October 23, 2012 - Campaign spending reports from the Secretary of State's office show that ABC is spending money to pass Proposition 32. ABC's financial support is proof positive that if it passes, Proposition 32 will silence workers in the political arena, opening the door for anti-worker forces to come after our jobs and incomes without opposition. (Read More)

Robbie Hunter Elected SBCTC President

October 22, 2012 - 61st Convention - Robbie Hunter, formerly executive secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange County Building Trades Council, was unanimously elected SBCTC President at the 61st Convention in Santa Monica this weekend. Robbie succeeds Bob Balgenorth, who is retiring after 19 years at the SBCTC helm. Last week, the SBCTC Executive Board designated Bob as President Emeritus, and directed him to work through the end of the year to help with Robbie's transition. (Read More)

OSHA Grant Funding Continues for SBCTC Health and Safety Program

October 8, 2012 - We are pleased to announce that federal OSHA has funded the SBCTC's safety training program for another year. While we had previously received grants to train on targeted topics, we received our first Susan Harwood developmental grant in 2011, enabling us to expand our capacity to provide safety and health training, education and related assistance to our construction audience. These grants typically span four years of funding, pending an annual reassessment of the program and OSHA's funding levels. Our award for the second year of our grant is $175,750, (designated at 5% less than year one). (Read More)

NYT Azalyzes Prop 32: Starkest Threat to Union Workers

The nationally-read New York Times has weighed in on California's Proposition 32, concluding that it is the "starkest threat" to our state's union workers, and that it would cut off union participation in state election campaigns. Further, the story adds, the much-hyped restrictions on corporate campaign spending "are far less stringent" than the provisions that cripple unions. (Read More)

Governor's Signatures Cap Strong Legislative Year for Building Trades

October 1, 2012 - The Building Trades' legislative agenda for 2012 focused on getting our people back to work, and increasing union workers' market share of new construction jobs. We shepherded a package of bills to achieve those goals through the Legislature. Governor Jerry Brown has signed most of the bills. However, due to the ongoing budget uncertainty, he did veto some bills that we hoped would enable local governments to replace dissolved Redevelopment Agencies as mechanisms for funding job-creating infrastructure projects. This outcome increases the urgency of passing the Governor's revenue measure, Proposition 30, at the polls in November. (Read More)

Article Describes Effort to Kill California Unions

September 27, 2012 - A newly published news expose vividly describes the efforts underway by billionaire corporate tycoons to destroy unions in California; specifically, the super-rich Koch brothers who are spending millions in an effort to pass Proposition 32, removing union workers from the political arena, and leaving themselves "a free ride to raise unlimited funds to support pro-corporate candidates." (Read More)

Governor Approves Tribal Casino Projects in Madera, Yuba Counties

August 31, 2012 - Thousands of Construction Jobs Created - Governor Jerry Brown announced today that he has concurred with the U.S. Department of Interior's decisions to allow the development of two tribal casinos: the Enterprise Rancheria in Yuba County and the North Fork Rancheria in Madera County. The Governor's concurrence clears the way for construction of the facilities, leading to the creation of 4,400 construction jobs, 4,700 ongoing operational jobs, and $550 million in privately funded construction development. (Read More)

SBCTC-Backed Bill Encouraging Sustainable Development Passes Assembly

August 29, 2012 - The Assembly has approved legislation that would allow local governments to create "Sustainable Communities Investment Areas" to allow for sustainable, environmentally healthy development projects. SB 1156 by Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, passed by a 50-27 vote and moves next to the Senate for concurrence in amendments. (Read More)

Bill to Require Pre-Qualifications on School Construction Projects Passes Senate

August 28, 2012 - AB 1565 Co-Sponsored by Labor and Management - A bill to increase the quality of public school construction by requiring the pre-qualification of certain contractors on school construction projects was approved today by the State Senate on a 25-10 vote. (Read More)

Last-Minute Attempt to Create Broad CEQA Exemptions Shelved - For Now

August 23, 2012 - Last-minute legislation—strongly opposed by the Building Trades—that would have created broad new exemptions to CEQA, was shelved today in the face of united opposition from us and others against the scheme. The author cited "the dynamics of the building," in announcing he was dropping the effort, an indication that communications from Building Trades members urging legislators to oppose the measure were effective. (Read More)

L.A. Times Columnist: Proposition 32 “A Fraud to End All Frauds”

August 20, 2012 - Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik has penned a brilliant column in the paper's Sunday edition exposing the fraud behind Proposition 32, and how it protects super-rich special interests while stripping workers of their political voice. Hiltzik exposes Prop. 32 as a "fraud to end all frauds" and "nothing but an attack by Republicans and conservatives on unions and their members." (Read More)

Ivanpah Solar Project Reaches Halfway Mark & Peak of Construction Employment

August 20, 2012 - PLA Praised for Delivering as Promised - The $2.2 billion Ivanpah Solar Project in the Mojave Desert is halfway done, and has reached its peak construction employment with more than 2,000 construction workers now on the job, BrightSource Energy and construction partner Bechtel has announced. (Read More)

Without PLAs, Veterans' Projects Experiencing Delays, Overruns, and Quality Problems

August 15, 2012 - The national Building Trades Department today issued a press release outlining the critical problems being experienced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a result of its opting to build new hospitals across the country without PLAs. This information should prove valuable in educating local officials about the benefits of PLAs. Please share it with them. (Read More)

L.A. Grand Jury Report Finds Charter Cities Have Serious Fiscal Accountability Problems

August 13, 2012 - A new report from the Los Angeles County Grand Jury has found that many charter cities face major problems, including lacking strategic planning, spotty financial controls and have few methods of measuring whether they are reaching goals. (Read More)

Judith Freyman Appointed to the Cal/OSHA Appeals Board

August 3, 2012 - Governor Brown today appointed Judith Freyman to the management seat on the Cal/OSHA Appeals Board. Freyman has been a principal and western operations director at Mercer/ORC Worldwide since 2001. She held multiple positions at ConAgra Refrigerated Prepared Foods from 1979 to 2001, including assistant general counsel and corporate counsel. Freyman was corporate counsel at the Jewel Corporation from 1977 to 1979. She earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation (Read More)

Urge Your Local Officials to Endorse The “No on 32” Campaign

August 2, 2012 - Urgent Action Needed Now - All affiliates and local Building Trades Councils are urged to engage with your local officials - city council members, county supervisors, school board members, special district officials, etc. - and urge them to endorse the No on Proposition 32 campaign. (Read More)

California Democratic Party Opposes Proposition 32

July 31, 2012 - Thousands of Volunteers Will Spread the Truth - At its convention in Anaheim last weekend, the California Democratic Party voted to oppose Proposition 32, the special exemptions measure, on the November ballot. The party will make its resources and volunteers available to help workers fight the measure. Proposition 32 is an effort to silence workers at the polls by eliminating the right of unions to contribute to political campaigns. In an effort to make Proposition 32 appear more populist than it is, it also contains meaningless provisions purporting to restrict corporate spending, that actually do nothing of the sort. (Read More)

San Diego School District Happy With PSA; Votes Unanimously to Continue Using It

July 26, 2012 - The San Diego Unified School District Board of Trustees, after placing a $2.8 billion school bond measure on the November ballot, pointed to the positive results of its current project stabilization agreement, or PSA with the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council, and voted unanimously to continue using the PSA for all future construction projects. (Read More)

Governor Jerry Brown Signs High Speed Rail Measure

July 18, 2012 - Thousands of Good Construction Jobs Coming! Governor Jerry Brown made it official today, when he signed legislation authorizing the nation's first investment in high speed rail, bringing thousands of construction jobs to California starting next year. The project also promises to jumpstart the economy, modernize and upgrade transportation in California, and provide great benefits to the state's environmental quality. The Senate and Assembly approved the measure earlier this month. (Read More)

Governor Brown Appoints New Apprenticeship Council Commissioner

July 20, 2012 - Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown announced the appointment of Barbara Blake to the California Apprenticeship Council (CAC). (Read More)

Building Trades Strongly Opposes Prop. 32; Supports Prop 30

July 12, 2012 - UPDATED - Secretary of State Announces November Ballot Numbers. The Secretary of State's Office has announced the ballot measure numbers for the 11 propositions that will appear on California's November 6 ballot, including one measure that the Building Trades supports and one that we strongly oppose. (Read More)

Senate Allocates $8 Billion to Start Work on High Speed Rail

July 6, 2012 - Thousands of Construction Jobs Coming! In an action that will create thousands of jobs, jump-start the economy, modernize and upgrade transportation in California, and provide great benefits to the state's environmental quality, the Legislature today gave final approval to plans to invest $8 billion to begin building a High Speed Rail system. (Read More)

Former Anti-PLA Board Members Now See that PLAs Work!

June 13, 2012 - Foothill DeAnza Community College District - A recent vote by the Foothill DeAnza Community College District trustees provides persuasive evidence that PLAs work. Two board members who voted against a PLA four years ago after hearing and believing ABC propaganda, are now part of a unanimous vote last week to expand that PLA to include more than $45 million worth of additional work! (Read More)

California Labor Commissioner Reaches Settlement of Over $875,000 for Unpaid Wages

June 6, 2012 - The office of the California Labor Commissioner today issued the following press release about a settlement in an important case involving failing to pay prevailing wage, overtime wages, and other labor violations. This action demonstrates the importance of having worker-friendly administrations appointing strong advocates of workers' rights to positions charged with enforcing wage, health and safety laws. (Read More)

Primary Election Results Include Wins and Losses for Building Trades

June 6, 2012 - Focus Shifts to Crucial November Contests. The Building Trades scored some important wins, and also some disappointing losses, in this week's primary election. We cannot afford to either bask in our victories or dwell on our defeats, because the November election, now looming just five months away, will feature ballot measures and races for office that will be of paramount importance to our future. (Read More)

Free SBCTC Safety Training Available to Affiliates and JATCs

June 6, 2012 - In the high hazard world of construction there can never be enough safety training. For new apprentice and seasoned journeymen alike, knowledge of safety can mean the difference between coming home to their family and becoming a sad statistic. While the fatal accidents may make the headlines, we also want to protect union workers from chronic pain and cumulative injuries that cut careers short and diminish their quality of life. (Read More)

PLA Signed for $4 Billion Power Plant in Kern County

June 1, 2012 - The State Building and Construction Trades Council and the Kern, Inyo and Mono Counties Trade Council have signed a PLA with SCS Energy and Fluor Contractors to build the Hydrogen Energy California (HECA) power plant near Bakersfield in Kern County. (Read More)

Pre-qualification Bill for School Construction Passes Assembly

May 30, 2012 - A Building Trades co-sponsored bill, AB 1565 by Assembly Member Felipe Fuentes, D-Arleta, to require pre-qualification of contractors on school construction projects, passed the Assembly today by a vote of 50-16, on a party line vote with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed. The bill, backed by labor and management and co-sponsored by the Building Trades, the California Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association and the California Legislative Conference of the Plumbing, Heating and Piping Industry, now moves to the Senate. (Read More)

SBCTC's Cesar Diaz Appointed to State Allocation Board

May 21, 2012 - Governor Jerry Brown's office has announced that the Governor has appointed SBCTC Legislative Director Cesar Diaz to serve on the State Allocation Board (SAB). (Read More)

Election Activism and SB 922 Convince Board Palmdale Water District Reverses PLA Ban!

May 4, 2012 - Following the passage of SB 922 and a united grassroots election effort to replace an anti-union incumbent with a more worker-friendly candidate, the Palmdale Water District Board of Directors voted recently to reverse its two-year old ban on PLAs. (Read More)

PLAS are Proving Successful and Growing More Popular Throughout California

May, 2012 - Approximately one year ago, I wrote in this space about the concerted attack by anti-worker extremists on all of us in the Building Trades; on our jobs, our livelihoods, our futures. They were waging war around the state by tricking local governments and voters into banning project labor agreements. For us to win that war, we needed to fight harder and smarter. (Read More)

SBCTC-Led Coalition Asks Legislature to Preserve Court Construction Funding

April 24, 2012 - In a letter to members of the State Legislature, a coalition led by the Building Trades urges lawmakers not to divert funding intended to replace and renovate courthouses in desperate need of repair to other purposes, warning of “dire consequences for the projects, the public, and the economy.” (Read More)

Order Your Worksite Flyers Now to Fight the Corporate Deception Measure

April 23, 2012 - The California Labor Federation is now accepting orders for worksite flyers urging opposition to the Corporate Deception Measure, the November ballot measure intended to keep unions from participating in the political process by banning the use of paycheck deductions for political expenditures. (Read More)

Important Bill Protecting PLAs Approved Passes Full Assembly

April 12, 2012 - An important Building Trades backed bill that specifically clarifies that local governments that enact a blanket ban on PLAs for public works projects may not receive any state funding for construction, was approved today by the state Assembly by a 50-23 vote, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed. Senate Bill 829 by Senator Michael Rubio, D-Fresno, now moves to the Senate. (Read More)

Bad Anti-PLA Bill Defeated in Committee

April 12, 2012 - A bill that would have overturned the protections created last year for local governments to remain free to choose to enter PLAs for public works construction projects, was killed in a legislative committee this week, after strong opposition by Building Trades legislative advocates. (Read More)

SBCTC Legislative Advocacy Helps Kill Bill to End High Speed Rail Funding

January 10, 2012 - Testimony from Building Trades legislative advocates helped kill legislation in a Senate Committee today that would have stopped future state funding of the California High Speed Rail Project. The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee defeated SB 22 by Senator Doug LaMalfa on a party line vote, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. (Read More)

BCTD President Mark Ayers Passes Away

April 9, 2012 - In a statement Monday, the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), AFL-CIO, said it was saddened by the sudden passing of Mark Ayers, who had been BCTD President since October 2007. An announcement of services is pending. Mark Ayers was born January 22, 1949, and passed away Sunday morning, April 8, 2012. (Read More)

Support High Speed Rail Plan At HSR Authority 4/12/2012 Meeting

April 5, 2012 - The California High Speed Rail Authority is scheduled to consider approving its revised 2012 Business Plan at its upcoming meeting, Thursday, April 12, at 10 a.m. in San Francisco. (Read More)

SB 829 - Bill Protecting PLAs Approved By Assembly Appropriations Committee

March 28, 2012 - An important Building Trades backed bill that specifically clarifies that local governments that enact a blanket ban on PLAs for public works projects may not receive any state funding for construction, was approved today by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. All 12 Democrats on the committee supported SB 829, and all five Republicans opposed it. The bill next moves to the Assembly floor. (Read More)

Opposition Argument to San Diego's Anti-PLA Ballot Measure Filed

March 22, 2012 - Opponents of Measure A, the effort to ban PLAs in the City of San Diego, have filed their ballot arguments urging voters to defeat the measure. The No on Measure A ballot argument follows. There are serious implications to Prop A. Read the law. (Read More)

High Speed Rail Events Next Week in Mountain View, Bakersfield

March 6, 2012 - Two important public events discussing high speed rail are scheduled for next week: a State Senate informational hearing in Mountain View on Tuesday, March 13; and a Bakersfield Town Hall discussion on Thursday, March 15. Opponents of high speed rail will certainly show up at both events to trash the project. So it will be crucial that supporters be on hand to promote its benefits. Press availabilities featuring HSR supporters are being planned to precede both events. More details will be forwarded as they are made available. Here are specifics about the two events. (Read More)

Advisory: STIHL Chainsaws Recalled Due to Safety Risk

March 6, 2012 - As a service to Building Trades members who may have purchased a STIHL chainsaw during 2011, we are posting this announcement about the recall of the saws due to a safety hazard. If you have one of these saws, please follow these instructions. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with STIHL Inc., today announced a voluntary recall of MS 391 Chain Saws. (Read More)

Op-Ed on Sacramento Arena Project Published in Sacramento Business Journal

March 2, 2012 - The Sacramento Business Journal, a publication which caters to the interests of entrepreneurs, investors and businesses small and large throughout the Sacramento area, published an opinion editorial by Bob Balgenorth, President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council. (Read More)

San Jose Mercury News Publishes Pro-PLA column by Bob Balgenorth

March 1, 2012 - The San Jose Mercury News recently published an opinion column by SBCTC President Bob Balgenorth supporting that region's Valley Transportation Authority's decision to use a PLA for construction of its BART to San Jose project. The column disproved, item by item, false claims made by an ABC official criticizing the PLA decision in a previous column. It points out the many benefits of using PLAs, and concludes that their increasing use by both public and private sector construction projects is proof that they work. Here is the column, in its entirety, followed by a link to it at the newspaper's website. (Read More)

Michigan Law Banning PLAs Ruled Unconstitutional

March 1, 2012 - In a great win for working people, a federal court has overturned a law signed by the Republican Governor of Michigan that banned the use of PLAs in public construction projects. U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts ruled that the PLA ban violated federal laws that "explicitly allow for PLAs in the construction industry." She also noted that the law's defenders had failed to demonstrate any cost savings resulting from banning PLAs. (Read More)

California Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Prevailing Wage Case

February 29, 2012 - SBCTC v. City of Vista The California Supreme Court has scheduled oral argument for April 4, 2012 in SBCTC v. City of Vista, the case that will decide whether charter cities are permitted to exempt their contractors from complying with the State's prevailing wage law. The Supreme Court will issue its decision within 90 days of oral argument. (Read More)

PLA Finalized for New 49ers Stadium

February 28, 2012 - The San Francisco 49ers today announced that the team has entered into a PLA with contractor Turner/Devcon and the Santa Clara and San Benito Building Trades Council for the construction of the teams new stadium in Santa Clara. (Read More)

Cal/OSHA Issues Hazard Alert and Launches Confined Spaces Emphasis Program

February 15, 2012 - The California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has launched a statewide Confined Space Special Emphasis Initiative to focus attention on preventing worker deaths and injuries in confined spaces in worksites across the state. As part of this initiative, Cal/OSHA issued a Confined Space Hazard Alert to help employers and employees identify confined space situations and take immediate steps to protect workers. (Read More)

State Holds Workshops on Mandatory Regs for Public Works Projects

February 8, 2012 - The state Department of Industrial Relations' new prevailing wage Compliance Monitoring Unit, created by SBCTC legislation, has announced two upcoming workshops on mandatory state regulations. The workshops are generally geared toward contractors and awarding bodies, but may be useful for business managers and representatives as well. (Read More)

ABC's Anti-PLA Effort FAILS!

February 1, 2012 - In what is nothing short of a complete disaster for the ABC, their signature gathering effort to place a measure on the ballot to ban PLAs in the City of Sacramento has failed to gather the required number of signatures. Based on random samplings of signatures, it appears that the ABC turned in huge numbers of invalid signatures, including thousands from people living in Sacramento County but not within the city limits. (Read More)

Historic PLA for Ventura County Hospital Will Be a First in the Tri-County Area

January 30, 2012 - $280 Million Project Bringing Hundreds of Jobs! The Tri Counties Building and Construction Trades Council made history this week when the Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted to direct county staff to negotiate a PLA for the Ventura County Hospital project. Upon successful negotiations and final approval, it will be the first PLA in the history of the tri-counties (Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo) area. (Read More)

It's Unanimous! $40 Billion PLA Approved by Los Angeles MTA

January 30, 2012 - Up to 100,000 Jobs! The Los Angeles/Orange County Building Trades Council celebrated a remarkable victory last week, winning a unanimous 13-0 vote from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to implement a PLA for transportation construction projects over the next five years. (Read More)

Another ABC Contractor Busted For Prevailing Wage Violations

January 30, 2012 - The latest ABC Contractor to be charged with cheating workers out of prevailing wage is Doherty Restoration of San Francisco. At its website (, Doherty prominently displays the ABC logo. ABC contractors flouting the law is becoming a commonplace pattern. (Read More)

SBCTC Offers New Safety Classes For 2012

January 18, 2012 - Our popular Focus on Safety program continues with an all new Train-the-Trainer course on how to Prevent Sprains, Strains and Repetitive Motion Injuries in Construction. The classes will be held in Sacramento, March 14-15; San Jose, March 28-29; and Santa Ana, April 11-12. (Read More)

Governor Brown Sends Right Message In State of State Speech

January 18, 2012 - SBCTC President Bob Balgenorth made the following statement following Governor Jerry Brown's state of the state speech today: "The State Building and Construction Trades Council applauds the efforts of Governor Brown to return California to its rightful prosperous state through critical construction projects such as high speed rail, renewable energy generation and water infrastructure improvements." (Read More)

Transportation Leader Praises PLA For Savings, Effectiveness

January 12, 2012 - In an opinion column he wrote for the San Jose Mercury News, Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, who is also the new chair of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, praised that agency's PLA with the Santa Clara and San Benito Building Trades Council for making the agency's Fremont to San Jose BART extension project more efficient and economical. Supervisor Yeager's comment could be an effective tool for persuading other local officials of the benefits of PLAs. (Read More)

More ABC Anti-Prevailing Wage Bills Killed by Senate Committee

January 12, 2012 - SBCTC Advocacy Effective Again
Just as an Assembly committee had done last week, the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee Wednesday killed an effort by ABC to gut California’s prevailing wage laws (Read More)

SBCTC Legislative Advocacy Helps Kill Bill to End High Speed Rail Funding

January 10, 2012 - Testimony from Building Trades legislative advocates helped kill legislation in a Senate Committee today that would have stopped future state funding of the California High Speed Rail Project. The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee defeated SB 22 by Senator Doug LaMalfa on a party line vote, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. (Read More)

Reimbursement May Be Available to JATCs for OSHA Training

January 3, 2012 - If your JATC currently has an ETP grant (on your own or through the State Building Trades/California Labor Fed Partnership), and you provide OSHA certification training, you may modify your contract to get reimbursed for this training. If you were ever thinking about applying for ETP funding, here's an opportunity to get reimbursed for even more of the training that you already provide. (Read More)

$850 Million PLA for San Jose-Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Project

January 3, 2012 - 5,000 Good Jobs on the Way! Over the objections and misrepresentations of the ABC and Eric Christen, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency (VTA) approved, by a 9-1 vote, a PLA for the Fremont to San Jose BART extension. As expected, the ABC made its usual false claims about the cost and fairness of PLA's. It didn't work, as all but one board member saw through their dishonesty. (Read More)

Growing Group of Supporters Backs Escondido Voting Rights Lawsuit

December 15, 2011 - A diverse and growing group of supporters made their voices heard December 14 at the Escondido City Council meeting, where they strongly endorsed efforts to elect city council members by districts, rather than by the current at-large method. The growing support for the effort was voiced by a diverse array of people from the region at the city council meeting, one week after construction laborer Demetrio Gomez served the city council with the demand. (Read More)

Five-Year Project Stabilization Agreement OKd by Contra Costa Community College District

December 15, 2011 - Despite a concerted and prolonged attack of falsehoods from ABC and other extreme right groups, the Contra Costa Community College District approved a five-year agreement with the Contra Costa Building Trades Council this week for all construction projects valued above $2 million for the next five years. The vote came after months of delays brought on by ABC challenges to board members' voting eligibility. (Read More)

Pelosi: California High-Speed Rail is On Track

December 15, 2011 - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says she stands firmly behind California High Speed Rail, despite Republican roadblocks. Rep. Pelosi released the following statement after the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's hearing on high-speed rail. (Read More)

State Board Allocates $924 Million For 377 School Projects in 154 Districts

December 14, 2011 - The State Allocation Board took action Wednesday to allocate $924 million in bond funds for 377 school construction projects in 154 school districts around the state. (Read More)

New DIR Unit to Monitor Labor Standards On Public Works Projects

December 14, 2011 - The Department of Industrial Relations is preparing to begin operations of its new Compliance Monitoring Unit (CMU) to ensure that pay, overtime, record-keeping and hours limitations are properly enforced on public works projects. (Read More)

Latinos In Escondido Threaten Suit For Lack Of Representation On Council

December 14, 2011 - SBCTC Legislative Director Cesar Diaz participated in a radio program on San Diego Radio Station KPBS regarding the effort to change Escondido's city council elections from the current "at large" format, in which all council members are elected from the entire city, to a district-based system, which would provide representation for the city's Latino neighborhoods. (Read More)

Members of SBCTC Affiliates Demand Escondido Change to District-Based Elections

December 8, 2011 - Members of SBCTC affiliates in the City of Escondido demanded on Wednesday that the City Council end its discriminatory at-large election process, and change instead to district based-elections that would enable Latino neighborhoods, now excluded from City Council decisions that affect them, to have a voice. (Read More)

Events Slated to Support Unemployment Insurance Extension on December 8 in San Diego, Sacramento

November 30, 2011 - Organized labor is planning events urging Congress to extend the federal Unemployment Insurance Programs that are now set to expire in January. The issue is especially important to workers in the construction industry, facing unemployment rates of 30 percent or higher in some areas. (Read More)

Big PLA Victory in San Jose; ABC Falsehoods Rejected

December 1, 2011 - In yet another defeat of the ABC's campaign of desperation and lies against PLAs, the Santa Clara & San Benito Counties Building Trades Council, led by Chief Executive Officer Neil Struthers, has negotiated and signed a PLA extension for $287,000,000 in modernization work at the San Jose Evergreen Community College District. The agreement is for the duration of the bond, and will result in thousands of good construction jobs for years to come. (Read More)

Hearings on High Speed Rail Underway; Our Support is Crucial Next 60 Days

November 17, 2011 - An Assembly Budget subcommittee meeting in Palo Alto kicked off several months of hearings on the business plan for California's High Speed Rail this week. Opponents of the project showed up to criticize the cost, locations and other aspects of the plan, but there was also a strong showing from high speed rail supporters, including environmental groups, business leaders, and working people. Unions represented at the hearing included Plumbers, IBEW, Bricklayers, Sheet Metal Workers, Ironworkers, Laborers, Painters, Roofers, Cement Masons, Operating Engineers and Carpenters. Congratulations to all for a strong showing of support. (Read More)

Merced Paper Publishes Bob Balgenorth Column on High Speed Rail

November 15, 2011 - The Merced Sun-Star has published a column by SBCTC President Bob Balgenorth, who also serves on the High Speed Rail Authority, favoring immediately beginning construction work on the first segment of high speed rail track. It is headlined "California can't afford not to build high-speed rail system." (Read More)

PUC Action Clears Way For Abengoa Power Plant Construction

November 15, 2011 - The California Public Utilities Commission recently removed the final obstacle to construction of the Abengoa 250-megawatt solar trough project in San Bernardino County, when it approved a power purchase agreement between Mojave Solar, an affiliate of Abengoa, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. (Read More)

Baldwin Park Approves $6 Million PLA for Transit Parking Structure

November 15, 2011 - The Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building Trades Council's remarkable string of PLA victories has continued with the Baldwin Park City Council's unanimous approval of an agreement for the construction of a $6 million transit parking structure. (Read More)

Historic PLA Announced for Transbay Transit Center

November 15, 2011 - The Board of Directors of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority has approved an historic agreement with the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council and 28 separate unions for $4 billion of construction work on the Transbay Transit Center. (Read More)

PLAs on Three New Power Plants to Bring Thousands of Building Trades Jobs

November 3, 2011 - The State Building and Construction Trades Council has entered into PLAs for the construction of three new power plants, projects that mean thousands of good jobs for Building Trades workers. (Read More)

BART Board Unanimously Approves PLA for E-BART Extension

November 2, 2011 - In a resounding victory for Building Trades workers, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District Board voted 9-0 last week to enter into a PLA with the Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council for building the new East Contra Costa BART (or E-BART) extension that will extend the rail system from its current terminus at Pittsburg 10 miles eastward to Antioch. (Read More)

League of Cities Latino Caucus Voices Support for PLAs

November 2, 2011 - The League of California Cities Latino Caucus has approved a resolution endorsing the use of Project Labor Agreements, noting an array of benefits that accrue from the use of PLAs, including expanded opportunities for minority and women workers and apprentices. It concludes that the use of PLAs is necessary for creating opportunities for the working men and women of the Building Trades, and pledges to oppose any attempts to eliminate PLAs as an option for the cities and counties they represent. The League of California Cities Latino Caucus, the fastest growing caucus of the League, charged with bringing the Latino voice to state and local government decisions, voted for the resolution at its October 2011 executive board meeting. (Read More)

1,500 Construction Jobs for Three Years!

October 26, 2011 - BNSF Railway and the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council have finalized a Project Labor Agreement worth more than $255 million for the construction of the Southern California International Gateway Project (SCIG). (Read More)

$350 Million, Thousands of Construction Jobs

October 26, 2011 - The Pasadena Unified School District Board this week voted 7-0 to approve a project labor agreement with the Los Angeles/Orange County Building Trades Council for $350 million in construction and modernization works. The construction is funded by the district's Measure TT school bond, which was overwhelmingly approved by district voters in 2008. (Read More)

Supreme Court Denies to Hear Appeal - Court Decision Finalized: Prevailing Wage Required if Any Publ

October 19, 2011 - The California Supreme Court has declined to consider an appeal to an important Appellate Court ruling from 2010 upholding the requirement that prevailing wage be paid on public improvements performed by private contractors if any part of the project is financed with public funds. The California Court of Appeals made that ruling in December 2010 in Azusa Land Partners v. Department of Industrial Relations, and this week the California Supreme Court declined to hear the developer's appeal. (Read More)

Victories for the Building Trades: PLA Votes in Berkeley, Contra Costa

October 17, 2011 - Building Trades workers scored a pair of major victories last week with votes favoring PLAs in the Berkeley Unified School District and the Contra Costa Community College District. In Berkeley, the school district board okayed PLAs for $190 million of construction work over the next five years. The funds are from Measure I, a property tax increase approved by Berkeley voters to fund school construction projects. (Read More)

Building Trades Workers Win As Governor Brown Signs Bills

October 10, 2011 - As the October 9 deadline for the Governor to sign bills passed, it was clear that Building Trades workers did well in the Legislature in 2011, with Governor Jerry Brown having signed important Building Trades legislation. Gov. Brown signed strong pro-worker bills to prohibit local bans on project labor agreements, to streamline environmental review for a football stadium construction project without compromising CEQA, to protect and expand the right to earn prevailing wage, to increase the use of career technical vocation courses, to add accountability to the charter city conversion process, and to strengthen accountability for apprenticeship standards, among other things. (Read More)

WSJ Editorial Mischaracterizing SB 922 and PLAs Rebuked

October 6, 2011 - In a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal, SBCTC President Bob Balgenorth and Northern California Mechanical Contractors Association Executive Director Scott Strawbridge, in their capacities as trustees of the California Construction Industry Labor Management Cooperation Trust, have refuted a Journal editorial critical of SB 922 and supporting blanket bans on Project Labor Agreements. We are not certain at this time if or when the letter will appear. The entire letter and the editorial to which it responds follow. (Read More)

ABC Falsehoods Refuted in Letter to Stockton Record

October 6, 2011 - In a letter to the editor of the Stockton Record, SBCTC President Bob Balgenorth and Northern California Mechanical Contractors Association Executive Director Scott Strawbridge, in their capacities as trustees of the California Construction Industry Labor Management Cooperation Trust, have refuted false statements made in a Record article by an ABC spokesman. We are not certain at this time if or when the letter will be published. The entire letter and the article to which it responds follow. (Read More)

SBCTC Awarded Federal OSHA Grant

October 5, 2011 - We are happy to announce that the SBCTC has been awarded a new Susan Harwood Grant from federal OSHA. With first year funding of $185,000, this grant makes it possible for us to continue our existing training on the leading hazards causing fatalities in construction known as the "Focus Four," and to begin work on developing new health and safety training programs for 2012. (Read More)

Governor Signs SB 922 Local Bans on PLAs are Prohibited!

October 3, 2011 - Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday signed SB 922, the Building Trades backed bill to prohibit bans on Project Labor Agreements, authored by Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez. This result nullifies existing PLA bans in counties, general law cities, and special districts; will prohibit state funding for charter cities with PLA bans (Chula Vista and Oceanside), while rendering potential 2012 ballot measures to ban them in the city of San Diego and city and county of Sacramento moot. (Read More)

Governor Brown Signs Building Trades Legislation AB 436

September 30, 2011 - Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 436 by Assemblymember Solorio (Santa Ana) and Senator Padilla (Pacoima), legislation sponsored by the State Building Trades to provide resources to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) for prevailing wage enforcement on state funded public works projects and design-build projects. (Read More)

Strong Local Leadership, Unity and Cooperation = Workers Victory

September 28, 2011 - Governor Jerry Brown's signing of two bills this week to kick start California's construction economy was a landmark accomplishment that will bring good jobs to thousands of our brothers and sisters in the Building Trades. It is the result of incredible leadership by local labor leaders, and unity and cooperation with all their affiliates, the environmental community and our political leaders. (Read More)

Five Years, 15,000 Jobs! $40 billion PLA for Building Trades

September 22, 2011 - The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Thursday voted to negotiate a Project Labor Agreement with the Los Angeles/Orange County Building Trades Council for $40 billion worth of transportation construction work over the next five years. The agreement is expected to produce as many as 15,000 construction jobs, starting with the construction of the Crenshaw light rail line. (Read More)

State School Chief Urges Districts to be Partners with Labor, Consider PLAs

September 13, 2011 - In a letter to county and district school superintendents and charter school administrators, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has urged cooperation with workers to facilitate school construction, and warned those administrators not to be fooled by bogus research making false claims about Project Labor Agreements. Torlakson further attached an analysis by UCLA researchers debunking claims of an ABC-funded study that falsely concluded that PLAs increase construction costs. (Read More)

Legislature Sends Building Trades' Bills To Governor's Desk

September 12, 2011 - The final week of the legislative session was extremely productive for the Building Trades, as our backed bills won approval from the Senate and Assembly, and were sent to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. Here is a rundown of the Building Trades backed legislation that won approval in the session's final days. (Read More)

Resolution Opposing Outsourcing California Construction Jobs Clears Committee

August 25, 2011 - A resolution supported by the Building Trades and the IBEW, to urge the federal government to deny a permit to Sempra Energy to use a cross-border transmission line to import renewable energy, thereby outsourcing California construction jobs to Mexico, has been passed by a Senate Committee. (Read More)

Labor Commissioner Seeks Partnership With Building Trades for Labor Law Enforcement

August 25, 2011 - California Labor Commissioner Julie Su is increasing enforcement of labor laws and seeking a stronger partnership with the SBCTC, local BTCs and affiliates, to enforce labor laws on construction projects. She has designated staff at the Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement to work on building trades related issues. She shares a strong commitment to protecting workers, leveling the playing field for law-abiding employers, and working collaboratively to pursue those goals. (Read More)

Gov. Jerry Brown Announces Pro-Worker Appointments to CAC, DIR, and CSLB

August 18, 2011 - Governor Jerry Brown today announced a series of appointments important to the Building Trades, including appointments to the California Apprenticeship Council, the Division of Apprenticeship Standards at the Department of Industrial Relations, and the Contractors State Licensing Board. (Read More)

Gov. Jerry Brown Reiterates Strong Support for High Speed Rail

August 18, 2011 - Governor Jerry Brown, in a meeting this week with the Fresno Bee editorial board and in a speech to community leaders, strongly reiterated his support for building a high speed rail system from the Bay Area to Southern California through the Central Valley. (Read More)

New Districts, Primary System Create Opportunities for Building Trades

August 17, 2011 - Newly drawn legislative and Congressional districts, along with the new "top-two" primary election system, will combine to create new opportunities for the Building Trades to elect more worker-friendly legislators and representatives in 2012. (Read More)

Billionaire Warren Buffett Calls for Tax Increases on the Rich

August 15, 2011 - In a commentary published Sunday in the New York Times, billionaire investor and industrialist Warren Buffett makes a compelling case that Congress should raise taxes on super-rich people like him, rather than imposing further harmful cuts on the middle class. (Read More)

Robert Reich Analyzes Economy, Debt and US Credit Rating

August 8, 2011 - This bulletin is to share with you two insightful analytical columns published recently by former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, regarding the debate over the federal economy and debt, and the reasons for and effects of the downgrading of the U.S. Credit rating by Standard & Poor's. The columns have interesting implications for the Building Trades. (Read More)

Labor-Management Inform Local Governments Why PLAs Work

August 8, 2011 - The California Construction Industry Labor Management Cooperation Trust has contacted every city mayor, councilmember and city manager; county supervisors and officials; along with school board members and school district officials, with a detailed letter explaining why it is in their best interest to use Project Labor Agreements on local construction projects. (Read More)

Chronicle Column: High Speed Rail Opponents "Make Stuff Up"

August 4, 2011 - In a column published in the San Francisco Chronicle this week, transportation expert Roger Christensen explained how high speed rail between Los Angeles and San Francisco would greatly improve transportation, improve the environment, and vastly reduce Californians' oil dependence. Opponents, he claims, ignore that reality and "make stuff up." Christensen's entire column, and a link to the on-line version, follow. (Read More)

Oregon Indicts Two Signature Gatherers on ID Theft

August 4, 2011 - There has been much coverage in the news media lately on the question of identity theft by signature gatherers, and discussion over whether it is a legitimate concern for potential signers. Following is the press release from the Oregon Attorney General's and Secretary of State's offices, announcing the indictments of two people on six counts of identity theft in connection with signature-gathering drives in that state. (Read More)

CA Democratic Party Endorses Initiative Process Reforms

August 2, 2011 - The California Democratic Party's Executive Board has passed a resolution outlining problems with the state's existing ballot initiative process, and urging necessary reforms. Below is the party's press release on its resolution. (Read More)

News Report: FAA Shutdown Cost Could Exceed $1-Billion

August 2, 2011 - A news report today from the Associated Press concludes that the shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration could cost the government more than $1 billion in revenue from uncollected airline ticket taxes, all because Congressional Republicans are demanding a cut in rural air service subsidies that total only $16.5 million, as well as a provision to prevent airline and railroad employees from unionizing. The entire AP article is below. (Read More)

Court of Appeal Rules Prevailing Wage is Required on San Diego Hilton Project

July 21, 2011 - The California Court of Appeal has issued a unanimous decision holding that the construction of a San Diego Hilton hotel on land leased by the Port District was covered by California's prevailing wage law because the Port District gave the developer a $46.5 million rent credit. (Read More)

Anti-PLA Study Bought by ABC Debunked by Reputable Economist

July 22, 2011 - ABC is hoping to generate anti-worker press coverage this week by releasing a study it bought and paid for from a right-wing think tank, that not surprisingly, purports to conclude that PLAs increase the cost of school construction. They have distributed the report to the news media and have asked that it be released on Friday, (Read More)

Study: Sempra Outsource Proposal Will Cost California Thousands of Jobs

July 14, 2011 - A new study shows that Sempra Energy's plan to outsource green energy production to Mexico will cost California thousands of jobs, and will cost up to $300 million in lost local, state and federal tax revenues. Hardest hit by the plan would be Imperial County, which already suffers from the highest unemployment rate in the nation. (Read More)

Northern California Carpenters Agree to Building Trades PLA Terms

July 6, 2011 - In a significant step forward for the trades in Northern California working together for the benefit of everyone, the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council has agreed to become party to the Building and Construction Trades Councils' PLAs. (Read More)

Workers Will Suffer Under Harsh New Budget; Republicans to Blame for Loss of Revenue

June 29, 2011 - Last night the Legislature passed a balanced, majority vote budget that closes a
$9.6 billion deficit. The drastic cuts in this budget will cause real harm to all California families, and to workers in construction and other fields. (Read More)

Bob Balgenorth Refutes Assembly Member, Defends Prevailing Wage in Bakersfield Paper

June 21, 2011 - The Bakersfield Californian today published an opinion column by SBCTC President Bob Balgenorth, refuting an earlier column by Assembly member Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, in which Grove opined that the state should quit paying prevailing wages to construction workers on public works projects, rather than extend existing tax revenues. (Read More)

Bob Balgenorth's Column Supporting Project Labor Agreements

June 20, 2011 - A column by SBCTC president Bob Balgenorth, endorsing the use of PLAs by local governments, appeared in the Friday, June 17 edition of the Sacramento Business Journal, a publication geared toward and read widely by business owners and pro-business interests in the region. (Read More)

Christine Baker Appointed Chief Deputy Director of DIR

March 28, 2011 - Governor Jerry Brown has appointed Christine Baker as Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Industrial Relations. Baker was endorsed by organized labor for the post and, based on her record, promises to be a strong advocate for the rights of working people. (Read More)

Bob Balgenorth Appointed to California High Speed Rail Authority

March 24, 2011 - Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg announced today that the Senate Rules Committee has appointed SBCTC President Bob Balgenorth to serve as a member of the California High Speed Rail Authority. The Authority is charged with overseeing the planning for the construction of California's high-speed train network, including evaluating technologies, criteria for awarding and selecting franchisees, routes and terminal sites; and a financing plan. (Read More)

Unions Lower Construction Fatality Rates

March 24, 2011 - A new study from the University of Michigan's Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy concludes that unionization in the construction industry lowers fatality rates, while so-called right-to-work (RTW) anti-union laws have the opposite effect, resulting in higher fatality rates. (Read More)

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