Airport Project Delayed for Unions - Costing City $1.9 Million

October 9, 2014

The building trade unions are at it again!  You may have heard recently that the Sky Harbor project (Terminal 3 Modernization 1-Step-Design-Build Construction Contract) was put on hold costing the City of Phoenix an additional $1.9 million.  But what you haven’t heard is that the delay was a favor to the building trade unions.  Yep, that’s right.  The building trade unions convinced Mayor Stanton, Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, Councilman Nowakowski, Councilwoman Pastor and Councilwoman Gallego that it would be appropriate to hold up the project so the unions can leverage the contractor to hire union labor.  Those voting to save $1.9 million by awarding the contract were Councilman DiCiccio, Councilman Gates, Councilman Waring and Councilwoman Williams.  The taxpayers thank you. 

We’ve seen this before.  Years ago the building trade unions tried this same tactic at the Arizona Corporation Commission.  The Arizona Builders’ Alliance (ABA) and AZAGC worked hard to extract language requiring the contractor to “meet” with the building trade unions.  This union activity lead to legislation supported by ABA and AZAGC outlawing mandatory project labor agreements (PLAs) in Arizona.  Now it looks like the building trade unions have found their way to the backdoor leveraging the use of union labor.  While this is technically not a PLA, it is definitely an abuse of power by some city council members and the unions.  We’ve heard it on good authority that a union activist has already contacted the contractor to leverage the use of union labor before the council votes on the contract October 15th. AZAGC and ABA issued a press release and sent this letter to the Mayor and all council members expressing our concerns.

As responsible members of the contracting industry, ABA and AZAGC will be monitoring any language changes in the contract forced upon by the building trade unions.  AZAGC and ABA members may be asked to contact the Mayor and Phoenix City Council to express opposition to these tactics.  We’ll keep you informed.

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