Division of labor - Page 3

As Mayor Lee supports mandatory local hire law, UC Mission Bay finally announces voluntary goals

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Workers with Aboriginal Blackmen United protest outside UCSF's hospital construction site
PHOTO BY SARAH PHELAN

We are continuing to try and match people who need to go to work with available job opportunities. The bottom line is that there are a lot of people in this city who are out of work and a lot of groups with different intentions in mind and we get tangled in that process."

Lima vowed to work closely with DPR Construction and major subcontractors to ensure qualified local residents — including those from neighborhoods closest to the site — can access the construction jobs. And she promised that results will be reported regularly and the size of the workforce will increase steadily, peaking with 1,000 workers in 2012.

"We are mindful that while these goals challenge us, they are also within reach," Lima said, noting that UCSF has been engaged in creating job opportunities in the construction trades for San Franciscans since 1993. "Our success will depend on the participation and commitment of the broader community and the trade unions."

UC's move comes less than two weeks after Lee announced at the annual San Francisco Labor Council Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast that one of his top priorities is implementing Avalos' mandatory local hire policy.

Lee's comments suggest a different approach from Newsom's, but it's still not clear whether Lee intends to follow the "critical steps" that Newsom felt the city should take "to ensure the responsible and successful implementation of Avalos' legislation."

Arce said he was happy to see Lee address the issue at the MLK Day event. "Lee said that if we are using local dollars to create local jobs, those jobs should go to local workers," Arce recalled, noting that the following week Lee started to coordinate with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and CityBuild to engage community stakeholders and lay out a road map to implement Avalos' legislation.

"They set a deadline of March 25 as the target date by which the language of Avalos' mandatory legislation must be included in all public bids and contracts," Arce said. "And it's our understanding that Mayor Lee called UC Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann directly on the morning of Jan. 27 [before ABU's Richards met with UC officials] to ask that UCSF formalize a community hiring plan for Mission Bay as soon as possible."

Avalos said he was "very encouraged" by Lee's remarks. "To say that at the Martin Luther King Labor Breakfast was a big deal," Avalos said, noting that the building trades were also in the room. "I feel Ed Lee wants to implement the legislation how it is written. He needs help doing that. He needs to create a process to make it happen, and I believe the folks who helped draft the legislation will be ready to do that. That's not to say that this couldn't go wrong, but I feel pretty confident that he will implement as strong a local hire model as possible."