“When it comes to hiring workers, union contractors are subject first and foremost to contractual obligations of the master labor agreements,” says Galina Velikovich, labor relations advocate at EUCA. When hiring at any location, including San Francisco, union contractors must contact the appropriate union local and request a dispatch of those workers who have the suitable skill set and also fit the new local- hire requirements, she adds.
“Once a contractor makes that dispatch request, it will be the union local's responsibility to find qualified workers who fit the established criteria,” Velikovich says.
Guillermo Rodriguez, director of CityBuild, a CBO overseen by the mayor's OEWD, says, “We tell contractors that CityBuild is happy to help refer qualified union workers that meet the ‘disadvantaged' definition if they desire our assistance. CityBuild is not a hiring hall or a dispatch office. We assist with referrals. All contractors must work under their respective collective-bargaining requirements to meet the objective.”
Ball claims the previous good-faith measure of San Francisco city and county “worked great for Webcor.”
“We totally agree with the measure, and we have made a really strong effort to comply,” Ball says.
Ball says that on two of the largest projects within San Francisco—the General Hospital rebuild and the SF Public Utilities Commission building—Webcor is meeting 42% and 35%, respectively, of the local-hire requirement.
“The problem with these types of laws is that they are passed when people aren't working,” Ball says. “They usually end up being laws of unintended consequences.”
Mike Purdy, a public contracting consultant for Michael E. Purdy Associates LLC, Seattle, says that the city of Stockton's local-hire law, passed in 2009 for projects over $100,000, is working out fine because it is based on the good-faith rule.However, other states and cities, such as Washington state and Cleveland, ran into trouble because acceptance of federal and state funds put them in violation of Article IV of the U.S. Constitution pertaining to the rights of out-of-state workers and contractors.