I wanted to take the opportunity this afternoon to respond to a few of the bloggers:

First, I want to explain my decision to not write about Gaylord.  I will happily respond to some of the comments.  I just wanted to point out that there are countless issues that we deal with every day at the Labor Council, many of which deserve the same media scrutiny that Gaylord has received.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to bring those to light.  It is not belittling the situation in Chula Vista, just bringing some other issues to the forefront as well.

Organized labor and the workers we represent do want to see a successful project on Chula Vista’s bay front.  That is why we have been very involved with the community work and committees on the bay front for the last few years.  We just want to make sure that whether it is developed by Gaylord or the countless others who would love to develop this prime piece of real estate, that it is a project that benefits the entire community.

Reader Gompersrollingover wrote:

Come on Jerry! You want to blog on cafe’ but you don’t want to talk about the biggest black eye your organization has ever received (self inflicted ofcourse)? The only good thing that has come out of the potential Gaylord loss, hopefully they stick it out without you, is that the public now has a better understanding what you guys are all about which is nothing more than simple shake down artists. I’m not sure anyone can (definitely shouldn’t) take you guys serious ever again. Thanks for nothing!

I would hardly agree that our negotiations with Gaylord are the “biggest black eye our organization has ever received.”  We are proud to be standing up for the local workforce and requesting local hire for this project.  When a developer comes in from out of state and local taxpayer revenue is being given to them, there should be guarantees that the local workforce benefit from the jobs created, the environment is protected, and the project benefits all of the community.  We are happy that any developer that builds on the waterfront will pay prevailing wages, but Gaylord didn’t capitulate to that n it is state law.  We will continue to work for projects that are a benefit to the community, and request that our elected and appointed officials receive written guarantees of local hire.

Reader Pat wrote:

Your leadership is an embarrassment to local labor unions. Under your leadership your zealous tactics have led to the greatest abandonment of labor unions and an outright public rejection of labor unions. You should be fired. If you weren’t coddled by your close knit buddies on the Labor Council you would have been fired already for the damage you have caused. For you to post on Cafe San Diego saying you don’t want to talk about Gaylord just demonstrates how you have lost the message battle and are to incompetent to articulate a rational position. Please resign!!

It is interesting that you say we lost the “message battle.”  To Gaylord and the anti-union contractors this may be a message battle, for organized labor this is a battle for the entire community.  It is a constant struggle, and one which we will continue to fight with Gaylord or any other developer on our publicly-owned tidelands.

Reader Howiek wrote:

Anyone note the change in what Butkiewicz said? He didn’t mention the workers in Chula Vista, he mentioned San Diego County, which would be correct. But let’s take a look at what the unions have done lately; told me how to shop for groceries, increased my hospital bill, and now want to tell me what can be built in San Diego and what can’t. Take a hike guy’s—I don’t need you to tell me anything.

We think the workforce in Chula Vista should benefit first and foremost.  Then we think the jobs should be prioritized for our county workforce, as the project will be subsidized by our regional port.

Reader The Diva wrote:

I am shocked you are choosing to refrain from discussing the Gaylord project, a project that the unions have blatantly tried to hijack from the people of Chula Vista and the San Diego region. After your inflammatory press conference yesterday blasting local leaders and Gaylord, it’s clear that labor does not have its finger on the pulse of reality. Labor doesn’t own the Chula Vista bayfront, never has and most importantly, never will.

You are right, labor doesn’t own the Chula Vista bay front.  The bay front is on publicly-owned state tidelands, we all own it.  But, we do represent tens of thousands of working families in Chula Vista that care about how their tax dollars are spent, what type of jobs are created in their community and who gets first dibs at those jobs.

For all the posters who actually read the blog on the living wage, thank you for taking the time to voice your support.  I urge you to send an e-mail to Mayor Jerry Sanders, City Attorney Mike Aguirre and the entire City Council and stress the importance of enforcing the living wage ordinance.

— JERRY BUTKIEWICZ

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