On May 24, 2021, the Alhambra City Council passed its first Community Workforce Agreement (CWA) with a 5-0 unanimous vote.
By Brandon Tran
It was first proposed by Councilmember Adele Andrade-Stadler in early 2020. It is an agreement between Los Angeles and Orange County building and construction trade councils and Alhambra to ensure the city will only work with developers that agree to comply with new safety and wage standards.
“Ironworkers, electricians, and carpenters will be able to work in the city they live in,” Andrade-Stadler said. “It puts skilled workers to do the job at construction sites and handling Measure R contracts.”
A significant provision of the CWA is that developers would be required to pay workers at a prevailing wage determined by the California Department of Industrial Relations and typically agreed upon by collective bargaining agreements.
“We have an obligation to pay skilled workers what they’re worth and not just get by on a $7.25 an hour job,” Andrade-Stadler said. “How much better would it be if the union reaches out to workers and says you can join us and guarantees them a prevailing and livable wage?”
Supporters of the proposal include the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, business agent at Ironworkers Local 433 planning commissioner of Buena Park John Cangey, and Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Union members Larry Garcia and Jose Amador.
Concerns regarding the status of independent contractors have also been raised. However, they will still be able to join the agreement if they agree to sign onto the CWA. “It would be negative if we do not reach out to our residents who are currently independent contractors,” Andrade-Stadler said. “It behooves us to do workshops to help them understand what the agreement means for them.”
The costs of labor will be paid by the developers in charge of new construction projects, not by the city itself.
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