UPDATE: The resolution has been voted on, but results have been difficult to come by. We will update this post when more information is available.
The Oakland City Council is voting on a resolution that would guarantee jobs to African-American and female workers on all city-funded construction projects. Both demographics have typically been overlooked by contractors, many of whom exploit the “core employee” loophole that allows contractors to ignore local hiring quotas by bringing on their own employees. Supporters would like the policy enacted before November, when city residents will vote on a $600 million infrastructure bond that does not assure local hiring:
The resolution, introduced by the Post Salon Community Assembly last week and supported by Councilmembers Desley Brooks, Larry Reid and Rebecca Kaplan, would effectively address the city’s lack of employment by African Americans on construction projects that are city funded or subsidized.
Currently, while African Americans make up 28 percent of the city’s population, they obtain only 5 percent of the employment hours on most city-funded projects.
The resolution seeks to increase local hiring of African Americans and women by focusing on workers in zip codes with high levels of unemployment, and by favoring contractors who commit to 50% local hiring goals and 15% apprentice hiring goals. It would also eliminate the “core employee” loophole and require all Project Labor Agreements to include local hiring procedures, according to Post News Group:
Half the jobs would go to people who live in the poorest, most impacted neighborhoods, mostly in East Oakland and West Oakland – people who have long been long left out of the economy.
[…] The resolution would eliminate the “core employee” loophole, which has allowed building contractors to bring their own employees to a construction project, thus undermining the 50 percent local hiring commitment.
The resolution would “mandate the immediate placement” of the city’s local hiring procedures and policies in all Project Labor Agreements, which promise that all jobs on city projects go to labor unions.
In addition to construction, the hiring quotas would include data entry, customer service, auto mechanics, warehouse workers, and manufacturing.