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From the Mayor's Desk

Mayor Gloria Signs First Citywide Project Labor Agreement into Law

Historic agreement will cover City construction projects, ensure hire of skilled local workers

citywide project labor agreement signing

Mayor Todd Gloria on Wednesday signed into law legislation that enables an overarching project labor agreement with local labor organizations for most City-funded construction projects.  

The citywide project labor agreement will ensure City projects get done on time and on budget, provide a reliable source of highly skilled workers for City construction projects, encourage City contractors to hire local residents, and meet high standards for worker health and safety.  

“Today represents a historic moment for workers and working families in San Diego,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “This project labor agreement will ensure good-paying, local jobs for San Diegans and ensure the dollars we spend on construction projects goes back into their pockets, which will help power our regional economy for years to come.”  

The City Council gave its final approval of the ordinance Tuesday morning.  

The citywide project labor agreement was made possible by San Diego voters’ passage of Measure D in November 2022, reversing a 10-year-old ban on project labor agreements for City construction projects. 

“Project labor agreements help the City of San Diego build major infrastructure projects on time, on budget, and in a way that benefits our local workers and economy,” said Councilmember Raul Campillo. “In 2022, I spearheaded the City’s move to put Measure D on the ballot because it was long past time that we got rid of San Diego’s outdated ban on project labor agreements.” 

“The San Diego Building Trades, our 22 affiliated unions and over 35,000 active members are excited to enter into a programmatic project labor agreement with the City of San Diego,” said Carol Kim, business manager of the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council. “This project labor agreement is a major win for San Diegans that ensures reliable, high-quality work on capital improvement projects throughout the city. It also secures good, sustainable careers for thousands of local workers that will help protect and grow our economy through good times and lean times.” 

“Our labor movement applauds the Mayor and City Council for standing up for workers and ensuring that San Diegans will be trained through good union apprenticeships,” added Brigette Browning, secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. 

“This is a historic day for our city, stepping forward to create community wealth, protect vital funding sources and create stable, long-term, middle-class careers for local families,” said Jesse Garcia, lead representative, Western States Regional Council of Carpenters. 

pla signing


What Others are Saying 


Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su: 

“In our country, when workers do well, businesses succeed, and communities grow stronger – and project labor agreements are a time-tested model that help achieve each of those goals. PLAs provide workers with equitable pathways into jobs with guaranteed good wages, and businesses benefit from this consistent supply of a local, well-trained, and highly skilled workforce. These agreements help make sure that projects get done right, on time, and on budget, which saves taxpayer dollars in the process. By passing its first citywide project labor agreement, the City of San Diego is showing good government in action by supporting local workers and businesses.”  


U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler: 

“I applaud Mayor Todd Gloria for his leadership in negotiating a citywide Project Labor Agreement, and the San Diego City Council for approving it unanimously. Implementing this agreement will strengthen labor rights in San Diego, boost equitable economic growth by increasing wages for construction workers, and give small businesses a fair chance to compete for city contracts.” 


U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, District 50 

“I’ve long supported project labor agreements and was pleased when Measure D passed. The misguided ban on PLAs put the City of San Diego at a disadvantage when it came to competing for much-needed federal infrastructure funding. PLAs help create good jobs and ensure that projects will be finished on time and on budget. They’re a win-win for everyone involved.”   


California Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Toni G. Atkins: 

“I’m immensely proud that San Diego is the first large city in the nation to have a citywide PLA. The PLA will provide a pathway to the middle class for San Diego residents and create apprenticeship opportunities for veterans and our youth from underserved communities, including those formerly in the foster care system. It will also ensure that city infrastructure projects will be free from work stoppages and bring newly trained workers into the construction industry, thereby increasing the size of our skilled workforce. I want to thank Mayor Todd Gloria and the City Council for their steadfast commitment to making this agreement a reality. This is a win for everyone.”  


California State Sen. Catherine Blakespear, District 38: 

“I applaud San Diego’s project labor agreement to showcase the city’s dedication to high-quality jobs, fostering a reliable and capable workforce for public projects, and guaranteeing local workers safe, fair, and well-paying opportunities. 


California State Assemblymember Brian Maienschein, District 76: 

“I’m pleased that the City of San Diego has voted to enact a citywide project labor agreement. This will help to increase livable wages, support equitable workforce development, and improve health and safety for jobs in our region.” 


California State Assemblymember Tasha Boerner, District 77 

“I am excited that the San Diego City Council approved a citywide project labor agreement, which will ensure fair wages and safe working conditions for those working on public improvement projects in San Diego. Now more than ever, in the wake of the recent storms, it is important to prioritize projects that will benefit all San Diegans, including workers. Mayor Todd Gloria has played a tremendous role in leading this effort, and this agreement couldn’t have happened without his leadership.”  


City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera, District 9: 

“Workers deserve safety and dignity, and the public deserves projects that are completed on time and on budget. This historic project labor agreement ensures workers and the public win together. With this agreement, San Diego takes a giant step away from the race to the bottom that previous City leaders pursued and moves us toward a future where our most important projects are completed in a way we can all be proud of.” 


City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn, District 3: 

“As a former union member, I’m proud that our City values the construction workers who are improving San Diego. We have billions of dollars of projects ahead of us. By hiring local workers, we are growing our city’s economy, which fuels programs and services for all San Diegans.” 


City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert, District 5:  

“I believe a project labor agreement in the City of San Diego is a strategic and beneficial approach to ensuring successful and timely completion of major construction projects, while prioritizing worker safety and fair pay and stimulating our local economy. The local hire program included in this PLA deserves to be highlighted, as it will invest equitably in our City by hiring targeted local workers first.” 


City Councilmember Kent Lee, District 6: 

“This is a historic occasion that fulfills the intent of Measure D, a measure that many San Diego citizens voted for and have eagerly awaited the permanent implementation of. As Chair of the Budget and Government Efficiency Committee, this Ordinance will be a huge asset in fulfilling a primary goal of mine, providing good-paying jobs and furthering local hiring of skilled and trained workers — as we work together to deliver City projects on time and on budget, which will ultimately contribute to a better quality of life for all San Diegans.” 


City Attorney Mara Elliott: 

“As the daughter of an ILWU-represented longshoreman, I understand that union jobs are the gateway to the middle class for many families. I am proud of our City for taking this critical action to expand access to well-paying jobs for thousands of our fellow San Diegans. I am especially proud of the work performed by my office’s deputy city attorneys. They are the unsung heroes behind the actions that move our City forward.”