From the desk of Stephen Cabot:

Citizens of Chula Vista and Oceanside in California are sick of having to pay for sky rocketing union costs for publicly financed building projects. While those citizens overwhelmingly voted for President Obama in 2008, they have overwhelming rejected his support of unions, such as his Executive Order in support of project labor agreements, which imposes union-favorable rules on federal building projects that will cost more than $25 million.

In Chula Vista, voters supported Proposition G, 56% to 43%, which bans project labor agreements, because such agreements result in union-generated high cost overruns that increase taxes. Voters in Oceanside supported Proposition G by 53%.

In those cities, unions will no longer be able to set terms for municipal construction projects. No longer will unions dictate wage and benefit levels for construction workers on municipal projects, thus limiting the likelihood of enormous cost overruns, such as those that plagued the Big Dig in Boston.

Proposition G will be an inspiration for municipalities across the country, where tax revenues have receded and debt financing has increased. What has happened in Chula Vista and Oceanside is just another example of how savvy citizens are no longer willing to support the greedy demands of unions.

expert labor relations advice


From the desk of Stephen Cabot: According to an article on the website of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce (, the Chamber noted that the implementation of an Executive Order will gag contractors when doing business with the federal government. They will be restricted from exercising their rights of free speech when it comes to union organizing efforts.

President Obama’s Executive Order will prohibit contractors from using funds to persuade employees “to exercise or not to exercise, or concerning the manner of exercising, the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of the employees’ own choosing.” In other words, federal contractors will be bound by an Executive Order to gag themselves financially so that they cannot influence the outcome of a union organizing attempt of their employees. Not only will employees be hurt by not being permitted to hear both management and union’s sides of an argument, but so will employers who will be left helpless when confronting organizing efforts. In addition, a basic right, guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution, will be foully and flagrantly flouted as will the basic concepts of debate ensured in the National Labor Relations Act. This is an outrageous attack on democratic institutions and traditions, one that will damage our economy and make a mockery of free speech.

expert labor relations advice


From the desk of Stephen Cabot

The Executive Order for Project Labor Agreements, which had been issued by President Obama, has gone into effect this week. The rule encourages federal agencies to require that any company that performs a construction project for the government should have a unionized workforce, if the construction project costs more than $25-million.

Since only 15% of construction workers are unionized, 85% of construction workers will now be ineligible for government projects that cost more than $25-million. As a result, either workers will demand that they be represented by unions, which will drive up labor costs; or, more likely, non-union workers will not have an opportunity to work on government construction projects. This will prove highly injurious to companies and workers alike.

Since the construction industry currently has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates, at 27%, President Obama’s Order will only serve to drive up that figure.

In addition, the use of unionized companies will significantly reduce competitive bidding for projects, which will result in increased costs. That burden will add to the deficit and become an additional responsibility of tax payers.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that project labor agreements increase costs by up to 20% and invite significant cost overruns, just look at Boston’s Big Dig.

Workers should have the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union. The government’s action limits that freedom, propelling workers into the avaricious arms of organized labor while worsening the American economy.

expert labor relations advice