Monrovia Redevelopment Project Picketed

 

Pickets in Old Town Monrovia
Pickets in Old Town Monrovia

Do Gov’t projects have a greater duty to pay prevailing wages?

Monrovia’s latest Redevelopment Project at Myrtle and Olive is being visited by pickets from the Iron Workers Union as one of the contractors is using non-union labor.  Nothing unusual about unions picketing private developers over the use of non-union labor in their projects.

This isn’t a private development.  It is a project that belongs to the Monrovia Redevelopment Agency and being paid out of our tax dollars.   I don’t know if there should be a difference between a private developer or a governmental agency in how they contract out the work needed.

The irony in the use of non-union labor here lies in the history behind this project.  The Myrtle/Olive project was to be a mixed use “affordable housing” development.  Barely 2 years ago a city councilman was in my office and we were talking about the project and he mentioned how the citizens of the city would be happy to see how “affordable housing” was to be incorporated into the redevelopment plans.  (Yes…I raised an eyebrow on “affordable housing” as that is the current buzzword to avoid raising the ugly specter of pruitt-igosubsidized section 8 housing in redevelopment plans).

Affordable Housing.  Sounds good, but who gets to live in it when built?  Maids and gardeners?  Shouldn’t a government agency be looking at wages paid?  Maybe instead of finding ways to keep costs down on one side then spend tax dollars later to subsidize housing needs of the underpaid workers on the other side, the big picture/the whole process should be looked at?  Don’t know what the answer is or should be.   It does seem like a lot of robbing Peter to pay Paul (sorry for the biblical reference).

An embiggenable set of copies of the union material after the jump.

 

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5 Replies to “Monrovia Redevelopment Project Picketed”

  1. It was the poster that got my attention first, then the picketers. That sure was a surprize to see that going on in my corner of LA. The city works so hard to stay under media radar it isn’t funny.

  2. State prevailing wage rates apply to all public works contracts as set forth in Labor Code Sections 1720, 1720.2, 1720.3, 1720.4, and 1771.

    What we need to remember is that there is a huge difference between state prevailing wages and Union wages. This project is within the state prevailing wage laws.

    The project will have only a few affordable rentals. The majority will be rented at prevailing rental market rate.

    For more on redevelopment goto Monrovia City Watch.

  3. These types of mixed use affordable and prevailing market rate rental developments is government’s new ploy to build out the city with redevelopment funding and avoid self ghettoizing housing projects while increasing the density in our city to a much higher degree with redevelopment bond funds while providing the number of affordable housing unit increases mandated by redevelopment law.

  4. MCW thanks for the catch RE state prevailing vs union. My point and concern lies with tax dollars being spent to build affordable housing, then using more tax dollars to subsidize the below market rents, often going to the very people who took the lower non-union jobs. It seems better planning would have eliminated the need for subsidizing if the wage would paid would put them into market rate rents.

    The whole higher density than we can support, resource wise or even basic services due to reduced tax in the general fund as its moved to redevelopment is a bigger concern as more cities could wind up like Vallejo – overspending, too much debt and a bk.

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