Not Everyone Happy with Labor Deal for Sacramento’s New Arena

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The plan to build a new downtown arena will have a sizable union presence in its workforce. Mayor Kevin Johnson announced the labor agreement Wednesday, saying 60 percent of the workers and 70 percent of the apprentices will come from the Sacramento region.

That agreement, though, is being met with some strong opposition.

Unions generally offer quality workmanship and experience, but at a higher price.

Non-union workers, despite a promise from the Mayor that they will be able to bid on the jobs, say there won’t be much left to fight for.

“Maybe some of the smaller things will be non-union,” said an unidentified supporter of the non-union workforce. “They’ll give them some of the crumbs off the table if you will.”

“It’s not terribly surprising given all the help those firms have received from politicians and government along the way,” said Jeff Michael, Director of the Business Forecasting Center at the University of Pacific.  “So, there going to be very sensitive to their concerns, and they need their help going forward.”

The agreement does promise benefits to both the workers and the community.

“Obviously those who receive the higher benefits, and there are assurances about local hiring and those are things local politicians that have been involved in the project are very interested in,” said Michael.

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