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Monday, Jan. 22, 2007 | Regarding your piece dealing with the Chula Vista Bay-Front project, it is always important to make sure everyone’s true intentions are on the table on issues like this. Your piece talked about groups concerned about the “problems” the developers of this project have as they pertain to the environment. One of the “concerned” groups are labor unions, like the IBEW. While citizens who are excited to see this degraded property turned into something useful might be puzzled to find those who might build the project threatening to hold it up using environmental “concerns,” this is old hat for labor unions. Unable to cope like rational adults with the fact that their construction market share is dwindling (15 percent of California construction workers are union today) they use things like environmental extortion to “convince” owners that they should sign Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) thereby making their projects union-only.
It appears today’s union-bosses prefer extortion to competition and hard work, and they’ll use any excuse to get their way. They have been using this greenmail all over California to hold up projects until owners see the light and sign a PLA. Then all their environmental concerns just melt away like so much polar ice.
The next time voiceofsandiego.org interviews one of these concerned environmentalists from the IBEW make sure to preface the piece with the facts.