Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Did a Union Just kill hundreds of Jobs and Economic Growth for Palmdale, California?

The city of Palmdale was ready to complete a deal with Kinkisharyo International a Japanese company who agreed to build a $60 million factory on a city owned property. Kinkisharyo has a $890 million contract to build potentially hundreds of light rail cars for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. But now the company is taking its project to another state and many indicate a union is to blame. The plant would have employed 300 at a 400k square foot plant. The plant known as Site 9 was a warehouse space used in numerous movies like “Pirates of the Caribbean”, and “Terminal”. This would have been a big economic opportunity for the City of Palmdale as Kinkisharyo International recently moved its U.S. headquarters from Boston to El Segundo, Calif. Palmdale Mayor Ledford was recently quoted this summer as saying "I believe this is just the beginning of a manufacturing renaissance here in the Antelope Valley,”. An environmental group backed by the International Brotherhood Workers Union Local 11 challenged the company. They produced an appeal claiming that construction of the proposed factory would violate state environmental laws. The union wanted to organize the plant without any interference from the company, but the company said no. So the Union backed the environmental group which turned the project into a potential environmental hazard. “They are using California’s environmental laws as a pretense to put leverage on the company to get what they want,” Kinkisharyo spokesman Coby King told Thus the Unions demands were not met so they used environmental laws of water rights to reduce “dust spores” which killed the deal. Initially the Union push the card check agreement. Which is a plan also approved by the Obama administration? Card check is where a company must accept a union if the majority of workers accepts the union. A union spokesperson said they didn’t kill the deal, and that it was the environmental laws, but Kinkisharyo is now looking to build their plant in another state. Kinkisharyo paid $2 million to fight to build the plant in Palmdale. It looks like it is too expensive to do manufacturing business in California.

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