Fresno Bee Reporter Finds Out that All Five Prequalified Prime Contractors for First Segment of California High-Speed Rail Signed Project Labor Agreements with Unions

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UPDATE: My article about contractors signing a Project Labor Agreement with unions for the first segment of the California High-Speed was posted on the web site on December 16, 2012: see Done Deal: Unions Will Control Construction on California High-Speed Rail with Project Labor Agreements.

The revised version today (December 7, 2012) of a Fresno Bee article (‘Needy’ Workers Will Get Jobs on High-Speed Rail) first posted yesterday about the “Community Benefits” policy approved by the California High-Speed Rail Authority contains a huge revelation:

Five teams of contractors have been invited to bid on the first major contract for a stretch of the rail route between Madera and Fresno. How the new policy will translate into the contract has yet to be determined, said Jeffrey Morales, the authority’s CEO. Potentially complicating the issue is that each of the five would-be prime contracting teams has already signed project labor agreements with labor unions. Morales said the existence of project labor agreements between the contractors and labor unions is independent of any action the agency takes.

I posted a comment under the article:

There is a huge revelation in this article (revised from the version posted yesterday). All five prequalified bidders have negotiated and signed Project Labor Agreements with construction unions. How did that happen? Why? Was there some kind of deal involving the High-Speed Rail Authority? Are the five agreements all the same? What do these union agreements contain? Will the public ever get the chance to see these agreements, which give unions a monopoly on the work?

At an estimated cost cited between $68 billion and $100 billion, this High-Speed Rail is the most expensive public works mega-project in history, dwarfing the cost of Boston’s “Big Dig” (the Central Artery/Tunnel project). And unions have obtained a monopoly on the construction.

See my past writing (with hyperlinks to source documents) on the Project Labor Agreement threat for the construction of the California High-Speed Rail project:

  1. Unions Creep Closer to Monopolizing California High-Speed Rail – December 6, 2012
  2. The Plot Develops to Require Contractors to Sign a Project Labor Agreement with Unions to Build California’s High Speed Rail – Dayton Public Policy Institute blog – December 6, 2012
  3. Barreling Down the Tracks: Project Labor Agreement for California’s High-Speed Rail – the Biggest, Costliest Union Construction Monopoly in History – Dayton Public Policy Institute blog – July 6, 2012
  4. California’s Top Construction Union Officials Love the State’s $100 Billion High-Speed Rail – January 12, 2011

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