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National City to Enter into Citywide Project Labor Agreement

Becomes First City in San Diego County to Prioritize Local Hire for Public Projects

National City, CA – Tuesday night the City Council of National City voted unanimously to direct staff to enter into negotiations for a citywide Project Labor Agreement with the San Diego County Building & Construction Trades Council.

“We made history tonight in National City by being the first city in the county to take this step to ensure that our public works projects provide the greatest level of return to our taxpayers and residents,” said Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis. “This Project Labor Agreement will allow us to keep our tax dollars circulating in our local economy, provide apprenticeship opportunities for our residents, and build high quality buildings and infrastructure for our communities.”

Project labor agreements are pre-hire collective bargaining agreements that govern the terms and conditions of employment for all craft workers—union and nonunion—on a construction project. They are also a powerful policy mechanism for public officials seeking to enact local hire and ensure strong job quality standards on public works projects.

“We congratulate National City on being a leader in the county by moving forward on a citywide project labor agreement,” said Carol Kim, Business Manager of the San Diego County Building & Construction Trades Council. “We’re very excited about this partnership with National City to provide construction career opportunities for local residents and ensure the city’s projects are built on time, on budget, by a skilled and trained workforce.”

The terms of the citywide Project Labor Agreement are still to be negotiated, but is expected to cover all of the city’s major public works construction projects. A key feature of project labor agreements is that they help manage complex construction projects efficiently, establishing the rules, procedures, and project specific standards up front, and provide public accountability by holding all parties to agreed-upon standards, goals, timelines and management practices.

National City Councilmember Jose Rodriguez added, “In a time when our communities are struggling with the impacts of the COVID pandemic as well as the ever-widening income inequality gaps, it only makes sense for us to lift up workers and their families by entering into a project labor agreement that will provide excellent working conditions and middle class career opportunities for our residents. My colleagues and I are proud to be able to support this work.”

The San Diego County Building & Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO consists of 22 unions representing over 30,000 workers in San Diego County.