San Diego Business Journal

City Attorney Releases Convention Center Labor Pact

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The San Diego City Attorney’s Office has released a project labor agreement tied to the planned $520 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, after a local coalition supporting nonunion contractors filed a lawsuit to make details public.

Eric Christen, a spokesman for the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, said the group is reviewing the document to determine whether it violates terms of a city proposition passed last year, banning the city from requiring project labor agreements in public projects.

San Diego officials have said the city did not require and was not involved in negotiations related to the pact reached in November between the convention center project’s general contractor, a joint venture of Clark Construction and Hunt Construction, and the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO, which includes labor unions.

The lead contractors and union officials said the agreement ensures union-level wages but also calls for future hiring of a mix of union and nonunion labor for the convention center project.

Officials are anticipating a 2016 completion for the expansion, which would add more than 700,000 square feet of new interior and exterior amenities to the current facility. The project is awaiting approval from the California Coastal Commission and the results of a pending private lawsuit challenging the project’s funding mechanism, under which hotels would pay the bulk of costs through assessments on room bills.

-- SDBJ Staff Report