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I’m back.  Sorry, been very busy this morning.  Judging by the responses we are on to something here!!  I think the last time the other side help the Cafe spot there were 7 posts total. 

Reader rusyrius wrote:

OK Sierra and Hall. Let’s stick to the issue at hand which is thousands of lost jobs and millions of lost revenue for Chula Vista street improvements, fire stations, police and parks. Sierra, is Gaylord required to even sit down with organized labor and negotiate? NO! How did they get that seat? Your organizations thug like tactic of stopping the project through environmental lawsuits. 1-2-3-4-5 “don’t give me that jive”, I guess if you can’t win the argument about the issue we must focus on personal attacks – typically liberal hypocrites

Well written!  I too find it ironic that the union banner campaigns hire minimum wage workers.  Such is their respect for “living wage”.

Reader Ron Rudloph wrote:

Thanks Eric for telling it like it is. The Unions can shoulder the blame for this situation. The past few years has seen them become empowered by an investment of millions of dollars by their respective National Headquarters and supported by a liberal majority on the City Council. In addition, they have now abused a public right by using the environmental review (CEQA)as an extortion tool to get their way. The labor pool in the County of San Diego has never had a union majority and major projects have been successfully developed with union and non-union workers working side by side. In addition, this would have been a prevailing wage project guaranteeing everyone a wage based upon union labor rates for the area. And don’t kid yourself – they will go after the next developer, using the same tactics.

If this is the Ron Rudolph of Turner Construction, then you certainly know of that which you write.    I think you term “abuse” for what it is the unions are doing here with regards to their current antics on so many levels really says it all.

Reader Shame on the union wrote:

I don’t care if Eric is from Mars! His living arrangements have nothing to do with his ability to represent ME, a native San Diegan. He exposes the truth and because of that he is widely supported here.

Thanks for keeping us on track.  Personal attacks against me are not that topic here.  You don’t like me, we’ve got it.  Now let’s talk about the issues.

Reader Horatio wrote:

Eric, If you want to know who to blame, you need not look any further than your own mirror. Or did Frank Pruett misquote you in his May 11 article in THE STAR NEWS? He wrote that you said: “We’ve let them know we wouldn’t stand still for having this project go PLA” “Non-union contractors would punish Gaylord if it dealt with organized labor” “Merit shops will come down on them hard politically” Were you misquoted?

My quote is quite accurate about what we do to anyone that discriminates against anyone in the industry.  I would hope that when discrimination is happening against anyone that you too would come down hard politically on them.  This is a contact sport boys and girls. Face that fact or get out.  But do not conflate playing good hard politics with EXTORTION.  

Reader Christopher Hall wrote:

Thank you Howiek — Maybe the better point isn’t that another project will come, but perhaps the issue is that for 40 years, project after project came, but no baby. Maybe there’s a reason for it, Eric will be paid to say it’s the evil labor unions while the rest of us could take a broader view and try to see why this natural patch of wetlands has resisted being paved over and exploited for every drop of value the developers see in it. The labor union bashers are IGNORING the issue in all the papers that says it was a problem of unsurmountable EIR/ Ceqa issues.

It’s the unions, nothing else.

Reader Randy wrote:

Hello” Mr Bob Filner, Ms Hunter, union business agents Tom Lemmon (San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council)and, Jennifer Badgley, of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, take the responsibility where it stands you flushed a big one with the Gaylord project pull out. It was you and nothing else. I find it most pretentious that you use the wording of good for the local workers when in fact your organizations only represent a mere 20% of the local construction work force in San Diego. I just don’t believe you had the best interests of the rest of us who have built our fine city and its surrounding communities. Shame on you!! Who’s the greedy ones now and you Mr. politician for selling out your constituents to support a bad deal or may I state for the record a Union Only “Project Labor Agreement”

Agreed on all points.

Reader Arsenio Sierra

It is important for the public to know what is halppening and how things are developing in Chula Vista. Thats a very imkporant point. The other point I would like to make is to provide public with accurate information. Gaylord walked away from the bargaining table and he was not chased away from Chula Vista. As far as I know their chari is still there for them to come back. This is if they really want to bargain in good fatith and work with the union labor. So Iwould suggest that next time you write an article like this you get your facts correct. Thank you very much. EHC CAT

You are right , Gaylord walked away and as they wrote in their letter the reason was union extortion demanding all the work or else they could expect trouble in the environmental approval process.  I’m not sure why this is so hard to understand.

Reader Christopher Hall wrote:

Thank you Horatio Alger for your links to the scarred and immoral history of Eric Christen — now we all know that the proponent who scrawled this Cafesandiego essay is someone that will bully to get his way. I would be afraid to personally meet this guy and debate him face to face — I’m glad we have the internet between us! People go click the links Horatio Alger wrote on July 20, 2007 5:44 AM. OK, everybody ready…5-6-7-8 “YAY ERIC!”

Focus like a laser beam here folks.  Again, we get that you don’t like me.  Today’s topic is the use of PLAs and greenmail.  I know they are hard to defend but just try.

Reader CMR wrote:

The group that paid the highest price for this was the hospitality workers. My understanding is that Gaylord signed provisions that would have likely resulted in much higher wages for the hotel workers and created the second (he Holiday Inn on the Bay in the other one) unionized shop in San Diego. Here is another little secrete about groups like Al’s “leadership”….cons unions hardly put ANY $$ into passage of Transnet, even though 40 BILLION will be spent on projects which, by law, have to be built by union workers. Instead, they contribute heavily to council races to advance their own political power. I know members are trying to just to finish a days work and get home to the families but they should pay more attention to their leadership’s actions. And apologies to the Caltrans Engineers union, they put up significant resources.

Spot on.  A little known fact about what happened here when the unions cost us this deal is that many unions were furious at the construction labor unions role in all of this.  As Steve Miller of the Firefighters Union yelled at Jan B. of the IBEW, “If I was doing this to my membership they’d want their dues back!”  Amen.

Reader Merit Shop builds Best wrote:

It’s clear that the Unions have outlived their usefullness. It no longer represents it’s people. It merely is a self perpetuating political animal. And all this talk of “living wage” is crazy!!! I wish the actual Union employees knew that if they went to work for a merit shop contractor they could negotiate their own wages based on their own merits and probably make and keep more money in their pockets. Union employees- If you are truly good at what you do you can make and keep more money working merit shop!!!! And your Union dues don’t help support politics that you don’t believe in.

Many of your points are spot on.  However, most union contractors and their employees build great projects.  It’s their leadership who have lost their way and so heavily contributed to their decline.  PLAs and greenmail are just two examples of this.

Reader rusyius wrote:

OK Sierra and Hall. Let’s stick to the issue at hand which is thousands of lost jobs and millions of lost revenue for Chula Vista street improvements, fire stations, police and parks. Sierra, is Gaylord required to even sit down with organized labor and negotiate? NO! How did they get that seat? Your organizations thug like tactic of stopping the project through environmental lawsuits. 1-2-3-4-5 “don’t give me that jive”, I guess if you can’t win the argument about the issue we must focus on personal attacks – typically liberal hypocrites…

Correct again.  Estimates are that $30 million per year would have gone into the City of Chula Vista’s coffers with Gaylord’s project completed.

— ERIC CHRISTEN

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