At today’s meeting of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Mark Farrell will introduce a first-of-its kind citywide workforce policy that will guarantee highly-skilled labor on city public works projects over $1 million, increase employment among local residents and veterans, disallow work disruptions and stoppages, and reduce overall public works project costs and delivery.
“I will stand with organized labor every day of the week to give working families a fighting chance to stay in San Francisco,” said Farrell. “We need project labor agreements in place on public works projects to increase local employment and decrease public works disruptions.”
“This policy will ensure better protections for workers, better opportunities for local residents, and work of enduring quality for the City,” said Michael Theriault, Secretary and Treasurer for the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council.
“All the unions of the San Francisco Labor Council enthusiastically support the Building Trades with this historic legislation for guaranteeing good jobs and training for those who build in our City,” said Tim Paulson, Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Council.
Farrell’s policy would mandate for the first time in San Francisco a citywide programmatic project labor agreement on all public works projects $1 million or above, or any public works project that a City department head or awarding agency deems fit.
The citywide project labor agreement will be binding on all contractors and subcontractors participating on a qualified public works project, and all must adhere to San Francisco’s local hiring, prevailing wage, and local business enterprise requirements.
Under Farrell’s policy, all contractors and subcontractors must hire apprentices from State-approved apprenticeship programs, use the City’s “Helmets to Hardhats” program to assist veterans in obtaining employment, and agree to refrain from strikes, picketing, and other labor disruptions on qualified public works projects.
“Every Republican President since Reagan has sought to expressly prohibit project labor agreements,” said Supervisor Farrell. “With Trump now in the White House, I believe we must do everything in our power locally to stand up for workers in San Francisco. My policy does just that.”
Public works construction projects can involve numerous contractors and employees in different trades, have critical timelines in place for completion, and require a high-skilled workforce to complete public projects in a cost-effective and timely manner. To avoid delays and extra costs to taxpayers, it is crucial that public works construction projects proceed without labor disruptions, or stoppages.
Currently, project labor agreements have been and are being used successfully by public entities including, the San Francisco Unified School District, the San Francisco Community College District, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the United States General Services Administration, as well as numerous private entities on many small and large scale construction projects throughout San Francisco.
Farrell’s policy is co-sponsored by Supervisors Sheehy, Safai, Ronen, Fewer, Yee, and Cohen. Farrell’s policy will be heard in a Board of Supervisors committee in just over a month and then onto a vote at the full Board of Supervisors shortly thereafter.