Graft - California and Labor Unions

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This suit should be interesting to follow - from Reason:

Developer Sues Labor Groups Over Use of California Environmental Laws To Stop Construction
A property developer in California is taking two labor unions to court, accusing them of abusing the state's oppressive environmental review processes in order to get union workers hired on projects.

The project:

This is infill development, eliminating actual blight (a commercial building that has been abandoned for decades), bringing more housing to a heavily Latino community with a median household income of around $46,000. This is the kind of development everybody should support. It's even next to a planned mass transit rail line extension.

And the suit:

What on earth does the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters and the local chapter of the Laborers Union of North America have to do with evaluating the air quality of construction projects? The lawsuit from Icon argues that the union isn't really terribly concerned about traffic density. It's all about the money. Icon is accusing the two unions involved of violating federal racketeering and antitrust laws. Icon claims that the union's environmental challenge is happening because the developers declined to sign an agreement to use only union labor.

Graft pure and simple. The unions buy the politicians on the City Council.
The article links to a story in the Los Angeles Times:

In the months leading up to a City Council vote, the two unions warned that the project would have negative effects on traffic, air quality and other issues. Yet behind the scenes, union officials offered to drop their environmental challenge if the Icon Co. agreed to hire only unionized construction workers, the developer's lawsuit states.

The project was approved regardless of the unions protest - it added 600 apartments and there is a serious shortage of housing. I hope there is a decisive victory for Icon - the unions have become too politically powerful in the last 20 years. They are now an arm of the state - protecting workers rights is just a sideline for them now.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on February 28, 2019 11:19 AM.

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