Warriors, SF Agree to Local Hire on New Arena
Community Groups And Labor Unions Join Mayor Lee In Signing Historic Letter Of Commitment
(photos by Solomon So, APRI)
San Francisco's successful Local Hiring Policy for Construction applies to billions of dollars of city-funded public works, but its mandatory, as opposed to "good faith", approach has never been used on a privately-funded project.
That all changed last week when the Golden State Warriors and their construction team reached an agreement with building trade unions and a city-wide community coalition to adopt the policy's hiring mandates as part of a groundbreaking community workforce agreement for the $1 billion sports arena that the Warriors have proposed for Piers 30-32.
Last Wednesday, Mayor Ed Lee was joined by Supervisor John Avalos, author of the City's local hiring law, as well as Board President David Chiu and Supervisor Eric Mar, Warriors leadership, the arena construction team, City department heads, labor representatives, and community advocates in announcing the groundbreaking agreement.
The unprecedented commitment will guarantee that at least 50% of all construction apprentices within each trade, and 25% of the overall workforce, will be local residents, including opportunities for veterans and disadvantaged workers. The Warriors Arena development, which includes rebuilding the crumbling 100-year old pier and building additional retail, housing and a hotel nearby, is projected to directly employ more than 2,600 construction workers.
At Wednesday's historic City Hall gathering, a letter of commitment to local hire was signed by Mayor Lee, the Warriors, contractors Webcor Builders and Hunt Construction, the Port and Office of Economic and Workforce Development, CityBuild, the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council, the Laborers, Carpenters, and Operating Engineers, and community groups Brightline Defense, APRI, Mission Hiring Hall, Charity Cultural Services Center, Sustainable Futures, Build Bayview, and ABU.
Hours later, the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee unanimously passed a resolution on the project with a recommendation for full Board approval, an important milestone in assessing the project's fiscal feasibility and moving forward with the planning process. The full Board of Supervisors will vote on the resolution tomorrow afternoon.
“It is with great pride that we make this announcement, because many of the people in this room are looking for that opportunity from all walks of life,” Mayor Lee said at last Wednesday's ceremony.
Warriors team president Rick Welts agreed, stating that, "we want to make sure this is a good deal for San Francisco." Jesse Blout, the Warriors’ project manager on the arena, said the uniqueness of the project made committing to hire locally "the right thing to do."
"We see the community as our partner and we are happy to work with a diverse group of leaders to build the Warriors Arena and create lots of new jobs," said Laborers Union Local 261 Business Manager Ramon Hernandez.
"We are used to dealing with local hiring on the tail end of a project and it's typically about 'good faith' or 'new faith' or some other type of weak language," said Joshua Arce, executive director of Brightline Defense, whose groundbreaking report with Chinese for Affirmative Action led the City to move away from requiring "good faith efforts" to connect local workers with jobs on city-funded construction in favor of employment requirements.
Arce added, "a new generation of community members will start their construction careers building the Warriors Arena and bringing basketball back to San Francisco."