When City Councilman Carl DeMaio appeared on the KPBS program These Days with host Maureen Cavanaugh last week, he combined two statements that we’ve previously Fact Checked.

The statements had been used by supporters of Proposition G, which Chula Vista voters passed earlier this month. The proposition banned the city of Chula Vista from requiring contractors use project labor agreements for public works contracts.

DeMaio wants San Diego voters to enact a similar ban this fall, and county election officials are currently reviewing the signatures he’s gathered to put his own proposition on the ballot.

And with the campaign season rising once again, we’re starting to hear the same arguments used by Proposition G supporters in the new debate over DeMaio’s effort to ban project labor agreements.

DeMaio and the Union-Tribune Editorial Board, for example, have called project labor agreements “union-only.” That’s false. Both union and nonunion contractors are eligible for contracts using project labor agreements and both union and nonunion workers can be employed.

In another effort to cast project labor agreements as discriminatory, critics of PLAs say 80 percent of San Diego’s construction workforce is nonunion workers. We’ve called that number barely true because it’s not based on any local survey of the construction workforce. It’s an assumption derived from national data.

Here’s how DeMaio combined those two statements into one (emphasis added).

All these public works projects we’re talking about, maybe expanding the convention center or repaving roads, there are a lot of union-only mandates called project labor agreements that city politicians and labor unions want to put on those projects. And that means, Maureen, that 87 percent of San Diegans are not even eligible to apply for the jobs on those projects.

In the future, let us know if you see people recycling statements that we’ve previously analyzed.

To contact one of our Fact Checkers or suggest new statements for analysis, you can send an e-mail to factcheck@voiceofsandiego.org.


Summer Polacek

Summer Polacek was formerly the Development Manager at Voice of San Diego.

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