Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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WECA Political Update, 9-3-20

Thursday, September 03, 2020

EV Charger Installation Update AB 841 (Ting D-San Francisco) was approved by the Legislature this Monday and is now waiting for action by Governor Newsom. The most notable provision requires EV charging equipment funded by the CPUC, CEC, or CARB to be installed by at least one electrician who has passed the EV Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP). EVITP is an IBEW creation. IBEW is establishing a statutory monopoly for NECA contractors.

Ting (Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee) and IBEW used their influence to bypass Assembly Rule 63 that would have required a policy hearing in the Assembly (because the IBEW language replaced the original content of AB 841 when it left the Assembly). Thus the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee never heard the content of AB 841.

The vote in the Senate was 25-10-5 with Republicans Bates, Borgeas, Chang, Dahle, Grove, Melendez, Moorlach, Morrell, Nielsen voting NO. Democrat Jerry Hill broke and voted NO, and Democrats Caballero, Galgiani, Glazer, Jones, and Umberg abstained. Taking a page from directly from Quisling, Senator Scott Wilk (R- Santa Clarita) voted AYE.

In the Assembly, the vote was 55-7-17 with Republicans Bigelow, Fong, Gallagher, Kiley, Mathis, Obernolte, and Patterson voting NO; Aguiar-Curry (D- Winters), Arambula (D-Fresno), Brough (R-Dana Point), Chen (R-Yorba Linda), Choi (-Irvine), Cooper (D-Elk Grove), Megan Dahle (R-Bieber), Daly (D-Anaheim), Eggman (D-Stockton), Flora (R-Ripon), Frazier (D-Fairfield), Grayson (D-Concord), Holden (D-Pasadena), Lackey (R-Palmdale), Maienschein (D-San Diego), Mayes (I-Yucca Valley), and Voepel (R-Santee) abstained (Voepel and Frazier were absent because of COVID-19). Republicans Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), Tyler Diep (R-Huntington Beach), and Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) made points with IBEW by voting YES.

The link between union membership and job satisfaction switched from negative to positive in the 2000s. Using data from the United States and Europe on nearly two million respondents, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests a partial correlation between union membership and employee job satisfaction is positive and statistically significant. This runs counter to findings in the work of Freeman (1978) and Borjas (1979) in the 1970s and most empirical studies since. With data for the United States, the study suggests the association between union membership and job satisfaction switched from negative to positive in the 2000s. Cohorts with positive union effects over time come to dominate those with adverse effects. The negative association between membership and job satisfaction is apparent in cohorts born in the 1940s and 1950s but turns positive for those born between the 1960s and 1990s. Analyses for Europe since the 2000s confirm the positive association between union membership and worker wellbeing is apparent elsewhere. The study suggests union members are also less likely to be stressed, worried, depressed, sad, lonely or self-actualizing. Study

Electrical sub to pay $1.25M to settle discrimination claims at Apple Jobsite Air Systems, Inc. (ASI), has agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit alleging that eight African-American employees were subjected to race discrimination while working on a construction project at Apple Park, Apple’s corporate campus in Cupertino, California. Story

San Francisco Proposes Doubling Transfer Tax for Certain Real Estate Transactions This November, the residents of the City of San Francisco will either approve or disapprove a ballot measure that will double city transfer taxes on residential and commercial sales over $10 million. Real estate investors need to be mindful of this potential tax increase in drafting their purchase and sale agreements, leases, and other real estate documents. If it passes, the amended transfer tax ordinance will become operative on January 1, 2021. Story

Labor-backed rehiring bill for displaced workers heads to Newsom California workers who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic would be prioritized for rehiring under a bill the Legislature sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom. AB3216 sets up a familiar business-versus-labor clash with a Covid-19 focus. It would require employers of hotel workers, janitors, and airport staff to offer newly opened positions first to employees who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing shutdown. The measure passed the Assembly with the minimum 41 votes. The California Labor Federation pushed for this bill, arguing that employers would use coronavirus-spurred layoffs as an excuse not to bring back older and more costly workers. On the other side stood the California Chamber of Commerce, which put the measure on its “job killers” list. The Chamber and other business groups warned that a new mandate would hamstring an incipient economic recovery. This bill will verify Governor Newsom’s obsequious response to political pressures from labor — a perpetual source of tension that’s been intensified by the pandemic recession.