By Nadin Abbott
May 4, 2012 (La Mesa) Evan McLaughlin from the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, speaking Wednesday night at the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club, urged El Cajon residents to vote “no” on Prop D, the charter city proposal. He also asked San Diego residents to vote against Prop A and Prop B.
A project Labor Agreement is a tool used by both the private and public sector to control construction costs and labor needs. In effect Prop A will prevent these agreements in the City of San Diego.If Prop A passes in San Diego it will have the effect of stopping all state funds for redevelopment projects. If a Charter City, such as San Diego, prohibits the consideration of a Project Labor Agreement (PLA), then state assistance cannot be used. The Building trades have already warned the Successor Agency for redevelopment of this as well during the initial meeting of that board on April 24.
Prop “B, touted as pension reform, “does nothing to cap excessive pensions. The ones who will get affected are the blue collar workers who average a $27,000 year pension, with no Social Security either,” McLaughlin said. The union official indicated that Prop B would not solve the pension problem and will only impact retirees receiving a 401K, who have no ability to draw from Social Security if their pensions are slashed because these workers are not be enrolled in the Social Security System.
According to McLaughlin the city already “has a two tier system” with the lowest retirement in the state for city workers. He also emphasized that the two tier system was negotiated in good faith, under the promise of the city not to put this on the ballot. “Citizen Sanders did all to get this on the ballot. It is a breach of a bargaining agreement.”
Prop “D” would transform the City of El Cajon from a General Law City to a Charter City. This means it would have more independence from Sacramento, however according to McLaughlin the city could negotiate no bid contracts. No Bid contracts reduce competition and may allow those on the inside track to get them at the expense of everybody else.
McLaughlin also emphasized that the Labor Council works for the benefit of all workers who deserve affordable health care, and good transit systems, not just union workers. Moreover, he also reminded attendees that last year SANDAG voted to fund any transit lastly, and that will affect the quality of life for workers in San Diego.
Finally McLaughlin also warned about the “Campaign Finance Reform” Proposition coming out in November. The number for it will be assigned one hundred and fifty days before the election. This Proposition says that it “wants to get rid of the influence of money in politics.” but the effect of it, will be to remove the influence of money in politics by union members and other groups, but not by corporations. The measure is supported heavily by the Lincoln Club of Orange County, where the Citizens United group came from, which led to the Supreme Court Case. He emphasized that California Democratic Party Chairman Burton said this is “the number one priority in November, to defeat this.”