OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Coast Community College District’

Big Labor’s Power Grab In Orange County Does Not Equal Worker Protection

Posted by Dave Everett on May 25, 2013

Big Labor’s power grab in California is more aggressive than ever. It is even creeping into Orange County. In just the past year, we have seen unions try and pass several discriminatory Project Labor Agreements (or PLAs) that virtually guarantee that all of the work will be limited to the 16% of the California construction market that is union. This week, the Coast Community College District rejected a PLA, but the unfair special interest deals are still pending at Rancho Santiago Community College (thanks to Jose Solorio) and at the Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach (thanks to Obama.) We even saw unions fighting against local control in Newport Beach and the Orange County Fairgrounds (Thanks Jerry Brown for appointing union boss Nick Berardino. The Fair policy now even discriminates against non-union veterans certified in the military.) And of course unions dumped nearly a half million dollars of their special interest money from out of town to defeat the Costa Mesa 2012 City Charter.

In every public comment debate on these Orange County issues, the unions always claim that they are pushing for their virtual monopoly on the work so that they can protect workers and make sure they are not exploited by evil capitalists trying to skirt labor laws. But as you can see from the number of violations that were discovered and reported to LAUSD’s labor compliance program and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, union work does not equal regulatory compliance. In fact, after months of inactivity by both entities, CCCG took dramatic action and requested revocation of LAUSD’s labor compliance program since they would not do anything about the 70 cheated construction workers owed over $91,000 in back wages.

It seems the unions don’t monitor their union “brothers” too well. Shocking, I know. Maybe more shocking is that unions are now pushing a bill in the State Senate to allow ONLY UNION PROGRAMS TO MONITOR LABOR LAWS! Earlier this month, on May 9, 2013, SB 776 passed 24-10 off Senate Floor with bipartisan opposition – including OC Democrat State Senator Lou Correa who voted against it. Hopefully more moderate Democrats will realize that letting the fox guard the henhouse isn’t good for quality building or for worker protection. Here is the full press release on the violations:

cccg

70 Cheated Construction Workers Win Over $91,000 in Back Wages, CA Senate Still Votes to End Program

Sacramento – On May 9, 2013, SB 776 passed 24-10 off Senate Floor with bipartisan opposition. It now moves to the California State Assembly. SB 776 would change the current law, so that only union-controlled worker protection programs exist – eliminating the California Construction Compliance Group (CCCG.)

Ironically, as a result of an CCCG labor compliance audit, the Los Angeles Unified School District recently collected over $91,000 in unpaid wages owed to The Masonry Group California, Inc. employee’s who perform work on the Valley Region High School Number 5 project. The beneficiaries of the settlement include over 70 workers of the now defunct The Masonry Group, a company that is currently in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

In 2010, ABC-CCC dba CCCG performed an audit of construction contractor compliance the LAUSD’s Valley Region High School Number 5 project. A number of violations were discovered and reported to LAUSD’s labor compliance program and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. After months of inactivity by both entities, CCCG took dramatic action and requested revocation of LAUSD’s labor compliance program. The revocation request got LAUSD’s labor compliance program moving and CCCG’s complaints and audits were properly investigated. After investigation of The Masonry Group’s practices and years of litigation, LAUSD was able to recover $91,688.98 in back wages, $2,181.27 in training fees and $28,950.00 in penalties. Because The Masonry Group seemingly disappeared, Turner Construction, the general on the project, was the party that ultimately made things right for the underpaid employees.

As acknowledged in the June 27, 2011, Request for Approval of Forfeiture & Penalties from LAUSD Labor Compliance Officer Nancy Morada to the Susan Nakagama of the DLSE Bureau of Field Enforcement, it was CCCG’s complaint that prompted the investigation of The Masonry Group:

cccg2

In the words of John Loudon, Executive Director of the California Construction Compliance Group, “Without our efforts, these gross underpayments would have been undetected. This is a great day for these workers who did the work and were severely underpaid in violation of the law. We appreciate that LAUSD and Turner Construction were able to work out a reasonable settlement. Sadly, Turner is stuck holding the bag for the misdeeds of The Masonry Group. I hope that Turner is ultimately able to get justice through the system and make the guilty party pay”.

“In a strange irony, we received word of this victory the same day Senator Ellen Corbett, at the bidding of organized labor unions, passed SB 776 out of the California Senate. This bill is designed to bar us from monitoring and enforcing prevailing wage laws. I wonder whether these workers support the move the union bosses are pushing,” said Loudon.

For Immediate Release
Contact: John Loudon 619-575-2225

###

Posted in 34th Senate District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Associated Builders and Contractors Defeat Union Discrimination On Largest CA Community College Bond Passed in 2012

Posted by Dave Everett on May 16, 2013

Two Democrats And One Republican Trustee Team Up In A Bipartisan Effort To Save College Students Over $100 Million Dollars In Waste On Measure M Bond Funds.  

(COSTA MESA, CA) – The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) are proud to announce the defeat of plans for union discrimination on the largest California community college bond passed by voters in 2012.  Two Democrat Trustees and one Republican Trustee joined together in a bipartisan effort to save college students over $100 million dollars in waste on the $698 million dollar Measure M bond passed in November 2012 at Coast Community College District (CCCD.)   OC Register Editorial: Playing Fair Means No PLAAfter months of controversy regarding the virtual union monopoly, called a Project Labor Agreement, the CCCD made its final vote on the issue at the May 15, 2013 meeting.  They wisely decided that a PLA will not be used for construction projects on Measure M projects.   “I want to commend Trustees Prinsky, Grant and Hornbuckle for this brave show of bipartisanship that will save students and teachers over $100 million dollars,” said Susan McNiel, President of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Southern California.  “A wasteful PLA on the Coast Community College District’s Measure M bond funds would have discriminated against 8 out of 10 construction workers.  It would be tough to get local workers on the project if we eliminated over 80% of the market from consideration.”   Jim Moreno Wanted To Give $100 million in education funds to his special interest donors. The PLA was discovered by Labor Issues Solutions’ Kevin Dayton buried in an online agenda for a special meeting and disguised as a “Continuity of Work Agreement.” The Associated Builders and Contractors of Southern California (ABC So-Cal) and its coalition partners immediately jumped into action to inform the public about the wasteful and discriminatory nature of these project labor agreements.   As reported in the Daily Pilot and the Huntington Beach Independent, at the Trustees’ March 6 Board meeting, CCCD Trustees were given a quick lesson in PLA politics during testimony from the Coalition For Fair Employment (CFEC), the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of California, Associated Builders and Contractors of Southern California and Huntington Beach Mayor Pro-Tem Matt Harper. A letter was read into the record from Alfred Dennison from Dennison Electric, Inc. who has done quality skilled work on past school projects and saved the district thousands of dollars. Mike Holton with Gould Electric was also in attendance opposing the PLA at CCCD. The coalition against the PLA also included the OC Taxpayers Association, who were told in writing that there would not be a PLA on the bond; the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Association; and the Orange County Business Council.  Jim Moreno Lied To OC Taxpayers About Discriminating Against Non-Union Workers Since public awareness of the special interest deal known as a PLA was so low, ABC So-Cal worked with local college students to drop literature about the PLA on campus and sent out over 30,000 robo-calls to taxpayers in the district from our local taxpayers association, State Assemblyman Allan Mansoor and Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Matt Harper. Working with local reporters, ABC So-Cal was also able to get an editorial against the PLA, the day of the April 3, 2013 vote on the CCCD PLA, in Orange County’s major newspaper The Orange County Register on the front page of the local section.  ABC member, Alfred Dennison from Dennison Electric was highlighted.   “Jim Moreno and Jerry Patterson tried to deceive the voters and give a special interest deal to their political donors by pushing this virtual union monopoly. OC Tax and OC Business Council gave their endorsements with the understanding that no PLA would be used.  The bond was passed using those endorsements in the campaign mail to voters – and it won by 57% when the bond required 55% for passage.  You could easily say that without those endorsements, the bond would not have passed,” said ABC Government Affairs Director, Dave Everett. “Prinsky, Grant and Hornbuckle deserve all the credit for ensuring that promises made were promises kept.”   The two Democrats that were pushing this virtual union monopoly are Jerry Patterson and Jim Moreno.  A quick look at past campaign finance documents reveals Jerry Patterson’s long career funded by the very same unions he looks to give preference to – both as a Trustee and Congressman.  The other, Jim Moreno, apparently wants the unions to fund his campaign to take John Moorlach’s Orange County Supervisor seat in 2014.

 
###

 

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 72 chapters help members win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. For more information, visit www.abcsocal.org.  

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »