According to the Bee:
The amended SB 922 would bar city councils and county supervisors or even local voters from banning "project labor agreements," essentially agreements that require public agencies to use union labor for public works projects.
Pushed by the building trades union, the new SB 922 is a blatant attempt to forestall a campaign by nonunion contractors to ban PLAs on the local level. The nonunion contractors argue that such agreements deter them from bidding for public construction projects. When they do bid and win, they either have to make their nonunion workers join a union and pay union dues or abandon them and hire union workers out of a union work hall instead. By denying fair competition, PLAs, critics claim, end up greatly inflating the cost of public works.
Project Labor Agreements received a major boost from President Obama last year in April, when he signed an executive order effectively mandating them in federal contracts. As Diana Furchtgott-Roth explained in this RealClearMarkets commentary:
In California, where Democrats are two votes short of two-thirds votes in both houses of the Legislature, bills giving organized labor an advantage are all but assured passage. The Bee's editors stop short of endorsing local PLA bans, saying only the wisdom of such policies "remains an open question." But they are positively incensed by the process, calling the gut-and-amend jam-down a "travesty."
The executive order favors union labor over nonunion shops on large federal construction projects-those worth over $25 million each. The order will take effect on May 13.
According to the new rule, "every contractor and subcontractor engaged in construction on a construction project agrees, for that project, to negotiate or become a party to a project labor agreement with one or more labor organizations."
The language might make more sense when translated into German or French. Under project labor agreements, all employees have to receive union-approved wages and benefits, even if they do not belong to unions. This drives out small businesses from competing for these projects; raises their cost to the taxpayers; and funnels a larger stream of union dues from taxpayers' pockets to union treasuries.