Construction crews work on the West Mission Bay Drive bridge, Aug. 26, 2019. Money allocated through the Rebuild San Diego ballot measure is helping fund the project.
Construction crews work on San Diego’s West Mission Bay Drive bridge in 2019 . (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)

Gov. Gavin Newsom threw his support behind San Diego’s Measure D Thursday, on the Nov. 8 ballot, to eliminate the city’s ban on the use of Project Labor Agreements.

The deals, PLAs as they are known, would govern city construction projects.

PLAs are agreements between contractors and labor organizations establishing terms and conditions of employment for specific projects.

Measure D’s passage would repeal a previous initiative, Measure A, passed in 2012 that prohibited the city from requiring contractors to enter into PLAs.

Proponents say lifting the PLA ban would keep San Diego from losing out on state funds for infrastructure, as state funding is not allowed on local construction projects in cities prohibiting PLAs.

Opponents argue San Diego has not lost out on any funding since Measure A’s passage because it contains an exemption allowing PLAs on projects “when such bans would lead to the forfeiture of state or federal funding.”

They also argue that Measure D would discriminate against the majority of local construction workers because they are not union members.

In a statement released Thursday by the Yes on D campaign, Newsom said, “Pass Measure D to ensure San Diego continues to receive your fair share of vital infrastructure funding. Republicans are trying to confuse San Diegans. Here’s the truth: Measure D safeguards San Diego’s future. Vote for San Diego. Vote Yes on Measure D.”

Other endorsements include Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, and Mayor Todd Gloria.

Those opposed to Measure D include Abdur Rahim-Hameed, president of the National Black Contractors Association, Al Abdallah, COO of the Urban League of San Diego County, and City Council member Chris Cate.

Measure D requires a simple majority to pass.

City News Service