New Website Brings Experienced, Pugnacious, Relentless Opposition to the Effort to Terminate California High-Speed Rail

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Here is a press release from the California-based Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction about a new web site:



Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction Banner 2013

January 31, 2013
Contact: Eric Christen
(858) 431-6337


New Website Brings Experienced, Pugnacious, Relentless Opposition to the Effort to Terminate California High-Speed Rail 

Union-Only Project Labor Agreement Provokes Professional Response to Train Debacle  

CA – The Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction today announces the launch of its comprehensively-researched opposition website, with the tag line “The Debacle to End All Debacles.” This website helps build the case to terminate what would be the most expensive construction project in human history.

“There are several grassroots organizations in California valiantly challenging the High-Speed Rail Authority’s taxpayer-funded public relations machine from various angles,” said Eric Christen, executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction (CFEC). “We are now bringing their work together in one place, while adding our own expert perspective on construction and labor relations.”

The Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction has 14 years of high-profile experience pugnaciously and relentlessly fighting construction schemes in California that entangle wasteful government projects with labor union entitlements known as Project Labor Agreements (PLAs). Among its victories is the derailment of a proposed Project Labor Agreement backed by former Governor Gray Davis for the construction of the new University of California campus in Merced.

The Request for Proposals for the Madera to Fresno first segment of the Initial Operating Section includes two provisions (Sections 7.11.3 and 10.1)  giving construction trade unions a monopoly on the project by requiring all construction companies to sign a Project Labor Agreement.

A  Project Labor Agreement (disguised under the deceptive name “Community Benefits Agreement”) negotiated with officials of the State Building and Construction Trades Council was also included in the bid specifications, to ensure that the five prequalified design-build consortiums fully understood the directive to give unions a monopoly on construction.

The website so far includes the following sections:

1. Your One-Stop Source for Information about the California High-Speed Rail Debacle – Yes, Your Doubts Are Justified

2. Top-40 Donors to Campaign to Convince California Voters to Borrow $10 Billion to Start Building High-Speed Rail

3. How Much Will This California High-Speed Rail Cost? Making Up Numbers

4. Losing Bidders for High-Speed Rail Design-Build Contract Will Get Up to $2 Million from Taxpayers For Their Trouble

5. Construction Trade Unions Get Costly Monopoly on High-Speed Rail Construction with Project Labor Agreement (“Community Benefits Agreement”)

6. Timeline of the California High-Speed Rail: This Train Has Hurtled Down the Track for 20 Years

7. The #11 Campaign Contributor to Proposition 1A in 2008: A Mysterious Organization Called “Californians For A Safe & Reliable High Speed Rail”

8. Fighting Back Against the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Taxpayer-Funded Public Relations Machine

9. Why Lowest Responsible Bidders Don’t Necessarily Win Rail Construction Contracts: Explaining Design-Build Procurement and Best Value Criteria In California Law

10. Art Inspired by the High-Speed Rail (parody art sponsored by Activist Artists 4 California)

“I’m meeting constantly with Californians who express utter disbelief that this California High-Speed Rail debacle is still chugging along toward its inevitably catastrophic conclusion,” said Christen. “This project stinks of failure, waste, and lack of accountability. The typical Californian is intrigued by the idea of high-speed rail but alarmed and disgusted by its disorganized implementation.”


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