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When Robbie Hunter, my predecessor as president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC), ushered Senate Bill 54 (SB 54) through the California legislature and across the governor’s desk in 2013, he laid the groundwork for what would become a massive shift in our statewide construction labor market.

Oversight, accountability, and a much stronger labor voice are all likely to be features of a new version of San Francisco’s long-criticized and currently mothballed City Workforce Alignment Committee, which was responsible for planning and coordinating the City’s workforce development programs.

A battle is brewing in Sacramento as the California State Senate debates a significant bill that appears to pit workers’ rights against affordable housing advocacy. Assembly Bill 2011 (a.k.a. the Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act of 2022), which was advanced by the Assembly last month, would eliminate skilled-and-trained labor requirements and local control of development in exchange for the construction of more affordable housing more quickly.

The University of California’s Board of Regents has voted to approve UC San Francisco’s plans for a brand-new high-tech hospital at UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center on its Parnassus Heights campus. Thanks to a project labor agreement (PLA) negotiated by the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council well over a year ago, the hospital will be built with all-union labor.

One of the first things Carol Kim did after being hired as political director of the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council in 2016 was to immediately plant the seeds of what would become a historic project labor agreement years later.

On Wednesday, May 20, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited UA Local 38 Plumbers and Pipefitters’ Larry Mazzola Sr. Union Hall. She was there to thank the labor organizations of California and of San Francisco, in particular, for granting her their endorsement in her bid for reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives in the upcoming November election.

With another Father’s Day come and gone, I’ve found myself thinking recently on my dad, Fred Ross, and the extent to which he influenced both me and the world.

Despite growing demands from labor and recommendations resulting from both an audit by the San Francisco Budget and Legislative Analyst and a civil grand jury, there has been no movement to revive one of the City’s key workforce committees.

Organized Labor


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