Billionaire Chargers Owner Expecting Taxpayers to Pay for Stadium While Discriminating Against Local Workers in the Process
San Diego, CA -Today local contractors, workers, apprentices and contractor associations will hold a press conference to formally announce their opposition to the San Diego Chargers effort to build a $1.8 billion stadium/convention center in downtown San Diego. The reasons the group is opposing the Chargers’ ill-conceived scheme will be laid out at the press conference.
The Chargers have announced that they plan to put an initiative on the ballot that would, if passed, raise the city of San Diego’s hotel room tax to 16.5 percent to pay for construction of a $1.8 billion complex. The initiative will likely require two-thirds voter approval because of the tax hike. The Chargers billionaire owner has pledged to only put in $350 million of his own money effectively leaving the vast majority of the cost for this project to be shouldered by taxpayers.
At the same time the Chargers have announced they intend to discriminate against the 85% of the local construction workforce that is union-free. On April 22 the Chargers and local union bosses held a press conference announcing they would build the project under an exclusionary Project Labor Agreement (PLA) like the PLA that was used to build Petco Park.
“The Chargers have managed to put together a plan that effectively harms just about every citizen in San Diego,” said Eric Christen, executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction (CFEC). “That is quite an accomplishment. First they expect average citizens to pay for a billionaire’s stadium. Then they tell those same citizens who are non-union workers that they are not wanted in the construction of the project their tax dollars are paying to build.”
How they expect to do this legally considering that San Diego voters in 2012 overwhelmingly banned the use of PLAs on taxpayer funded projects (58%-42%) by passing Measure A has yet to be explained. “Voters in this city have more knowledge of PLAs than any other group of taxpayers in America”, added Christen. “They have voted on this issue and rejected the discrimination PLAs represent. The actions of the Chargers have all but guaranteed the defeat of their initiative. We will make sure of it.”
The press conference will be held at 11am in front of the Registrar of Voters’ office in Kearny Mesa. The address is 5600 Overland Ave, San Diego. View the press packet here.