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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Local Construction Jobs Not Hiring Locals, Study Reports

Posted By on Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 7:25 AM

click to enlarge rsz_2abu.jpg
This week's SF Weekly cover story highlights the rabble-rousing -- and sometimes downright offensive -- tactics of James Richards and the Aboriginal Blackmen United to secure their members jobs on local construction projects.

Whatever one thinks of Richards' out-of-the-1960s mau-mauing attempts, he gets results. And his beef is legitimate. Contractors in this city are required to make a "good-faith effort" to hire 50 percent local workers -- and a city-funded report released yesterday reveals that, despite the James Richards of this world, the city is falling far short of its local hiring goals. An analysis of 29 large-scale city construction projects comprising 50 million work hours claims that only 24 percent of jobs were filled by locals.

That study -- which you can read in its entirety here -- is subtitled "The Failure of Good Faith." The numbers, put forward by the Brightline Defense Project and Chinese for Affirmative Action, are compelling.

Local workers made up 12 percent of workers at a recent project at San Francisco International Airport; 12 percent at the Balboa Street pavement renovation; 13 percent at the temporary transbay terminal; and 19 percent at the City College Wellness Center.

Interestingly, however, while Richards and his colleagues are depicted in Lois Beckett's SF Weekly story streaming into City Hall to protest practices at the Sunset Reservoir Solar project, the survey reveals that 54 percent of the workers hired for that job were San Franciscans.

The analysis offers a host of recommendations to up local hiring, all of which can be summarized thusly: Stop asking. Start telling.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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