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.