San Diego Community College Students Lose Job Opportunities; Southwestern College governing board vote bars non-union students

The Libertarian Lass, Gayle Falkenthal Press Releases / Media Advisories 13 Comments


Scott Crosby, CEO, ABC San Diego / 619-518-3450

(Poway, California) – Hundreds of San Diego Community College students will be prohibited from working on Southwestern College (SWC) Prop R funded construction projects under a proposed Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) to be voted on Wednesday by the SWC Governing Board.

The students will be barred from applying for these construction jobs because the proposed CBA excludes all non-union students. San Diego Community College students are enrolled in state-registered apprenticeship programs affiliated with the Associated Builders and Contractors of San Diego, a construction association that includes members who choose not to sign union collective bargaining agreements.

“The construction unions who put these politicians in office will profit most from this deal,” said Scott Crosby, President and CEO of ABC San Diego. “It looks like another pay-to-play scheme to me.

“The District’s vision statement, published on its website, pledges to ‘build an exceptional community of learners and leaders who will promote social, educational and economic advancement.’ This vision seems to apply only to those who are members of a labor union,” said Crosby.

This class of barred students includes construction apprentices living in Chula Vista, Bonita, Imperial Beach, National City, and the southern portion of the City of San Diego.

“Southwestern board members are excluding highly qualified students from job opportunities over the life of Prop R funded construction because they lack union affiliation. Southwestern is a publicly funded community college, and all apprentices should have an opportunity to compete for jobs there,” says Sherry Yarbrough, Executive Director of the ABC San Diego Apprentice Training Trust.

The proposed CBA is similar to the type of “government mandated” project labor agreement (PLA) prohibited in the cities of Chula Vista and San Diego. Voters in these communities rejected government mandated PLAs in separate initiatives conducted in June 2010, November 2010, and June 2012.

About ABC San Diego

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work. The San Diego Chapter of ABC represents construction and construction-related firms throughout San Diego County. To find out more about ABCSD, visit


Comments 13

  1. HQ, if the government said that, as a condition for working at Wal-Mart, you would be required to walk through the doors on your hands, buck naked and with your union card in your mouth. Is that an application of force?

    Not in your world. After all, you don’t HAVE to work at Wal-Mart.

    Okay, how about such a condition as a requirement for government work? Is that the use of force?

    Again, not in your world. After all, you don’t HAVE to apply for a government job. Same for nonunion employers.

    Of course, I’m here assuming you are a skilled hand-walking guy (or gal), eager to display your private parts — and a card-carrying union member.

  2. “After all, you don’t HAVE to work at Wal-Mart.”

    Nor do you HAVE to work on a construction project at Southwestern Community College.

  3. Greg,

    Now that was good.

    Rostra needs one of those thumbs up/thumbs down options. Until they get one, consider this a thumbs up for a clever comment.

  4. “Nor do you HAVE to work on a construction project at Southwestern Community College.”

    No, you certainly don’t but Greg’s comment is more than just a clever one. Requiring a union card, for a public sector project, is nothing short of a bribe–follow the money. It’s a toll, collected by politically connected folks to “get something for nothing” and, as long as the politically connected kick up to the incumbents, everybody’s happy sticking it to the taxpayers/students

    The mafia started this tactic but the unions have perfected it.

  5. Brian,

    Do you really believe that working to elect people of like-minded interests and then holding their feet to the fire to insure that they follow through on their promises is a bad thing? If so, I must have misunderstood many of the comments you have made on this site.

  6. Brian,

    From your response I can only guess that I have you confused with another poster, but I thought that you had counseled others to let candidates know what was important to them, support the ones who shared their views and hold them accountable if elected.

    Even if that wasn’t you, is that really a bad thing?

  7. Sorry, guys. I usually try not to be obtuse.

    In this case, a group of people (The Building Trades) worked hard to elect School Board members who agreed with them that doing a PLA was a good idea, and promised, that if elected, they would implement one. After these members were elected, the Building Trades then continued to engage to insure that the elected Board members followed up on their promise.

    I don’t see this as a “bribe” or a “toll” or as anything different than what every group tries to accomplish in every election. Don’t you think the Lincoln Club supports candidates who have promised to do the things they believe in? Don’t you think that Kevin Faulconer made promises to the small group of Business Leaders who, as reported in the Voice of San Diego, gave him permission to run for Mayor?

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