OC Political

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

Posts Tagged ‘Costa Mesa City Charter’

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:

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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:

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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

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

Unions Throughout The State Infiltrate Costa Mesa In An Attempt To Stop Charter Measure

Posted by Greg Woodard on November 1, 2012

Liberals often decry the influence of outside corporate money when it suits their purposes, but do not expect to hear much from them as union money pours in from all over the state in the effort to defeat Measure V, which would convert Costa Mesa from a general law city to a charter city and give the City Council the freedom to combat union abuses.  If Measure V passes, the city would no longer have to pay prevailing (union) wages, any increase to city employee pensions would have to be approved by the voters, and local unions would not be allowed to use the city’s payroll system to raise money for political contributions.

Facing an end to their unfettered reign in Costa Mesa, the unions are pulling out all the stops.  At least one union member has been caught destroying signs supporting the charter (see here).  And now, unions from all over the state are chipping in large sums to defeat Measure V.  As the Orange County Register reported today, opponents of Measure V have accumulated an astounding $520,000 as of October 20, 2012, to just $56,000 for supporters of Measure V.  Of the $520,000, $320,000 (over 60%) has come from state and county unions.  The union’s largest expenditure ($152,000) went to a Georgia company that specializes in media-buys and political strategy.

The union money is largely contributed to the ironically named Taxpayers for Open and Accountable Government, which is sponsored by the Orange County Employees Association.  I say ironic because unions in California have operated in the shadows for decades, negotiating contracts favorable to their members in secret with public agencies, buying elections at the local, county, and state level to put their candidates in place to protect the ever-increasing compensation and benefit packages that are bankrupting cities and the state, and massively funding opposition to any proposition presented to the state’s voters that would rein in their power.

One of those propositions, Prop. 32, is on the ballot next week .  Prop. 32 would prevent unions from donating to political candidates directly and end the abusive process of extorting dues from members for political purposes, even if the member does not support the candidates or causes that the union spends the money on.  The unions have reportedly spent at least $50 million to defeat Prop. 32.  I note the irony of the unions using money they extorted from their members to defeat a measure that will prevent them from extorting money from their members for political purposes.  The importance of Prop. 32 is not lost on Costa Mesa’s leaders.  As the Register reported, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer, when reviewing the unions’ campaign finance disclosures opposing Measure V, said “It’s a poster child for Prop. 32.”

It does not take a lot of effort to discover why California consistently ranks among the worst states in the country for business climate.  We are near the top (not a good thing) in terms of income taxes, gas taxes, business taxes, and sales taxes, largely due to Democratic legislators who have been bought by unions.  Government employee compensation and benefits are eating up a larger chunk of budgets, leaving little for actual services, and any time someone tries to reduce the burden, the unions tap in to their war chest and sue.  Costa Mesa is leading the charge to make real changes to blunt the union control, yet they face an uphill battle, being outspent 10-1.  Proponents of Measure V must earn their money the hard way, by soliciting small and large benefits from people and businesses.  The unions simply have to write a check from money the did not even have to ask their members to provide.

November 6 may be a bellwether for conservative values, both at the national and local level.  Costa Mesa is leading the charge in Orange County.

Posted in Costa Mesa | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The Time Has Come Live Blogging: 8-20-2012 OC GOP Central Committee

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on August 20, 2012

UPDATED 9:07 PM- We are now onto bylaws issues and I am done for the night.

UPDATED 9:04 PM- Todd Spitzer is pointing out that the endorsement is controversial and should be sent to the endorsements committee. The ayes have it and the endorsement will be sent to the endorsements committee.

UPDATED 9:02 PM- Charles Hart is now speaking about the work he has done in Santa Ana for both the community and the OC GOP.

UPDATED 8:59 PM- Brett Franklin is now speaking about how Carlos Bustamante is what he referred to as a problem. He is asking that the Central Committee take some time to look into both candidates and not rush to endorse 1 over the other.

UPDATED 8:57 PM- Scott Baugh is making a speech as to the situation that exists when 2 members from the Central Committee are both running for the same office. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Republican Central Committee | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »