Labor agreement for new stadium announced - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Labor agreement for new stadium announced

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Chargers and leaders of the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council are scheduled Friday morning to announce a project labor agreement for a proposed downtown stadium and convention center annex.

PLAs spell out terms for employing workers on a major project, such as compensation and hiring local tradesmen.

Supporters of such arrangements say PLAs ensure quality work and labor peace, usually meaning a job will be completed on time. Opponents contend they effectively shut out non-union shops and increase a project's price tag.

RELATED: Chargers release new renderings of proposed downtown stadium project

The council, an umbrella group for construction unions, will also announce its endorsement of the team's proposed ballot measure, which would help fund the project. The Chargers have scheduled an event Saturday to launch a signature-gathering drive to qualify their initiative for the November ballot.

''Our communities need quality construction careers and training opportunities, and the San Diego building trades unions are proud to partner with the San Diego Chargers to provide apprenticeship opportunities and well-paying jobs for local San Diegans, as we build this state-of-the-art stadium and convention center,'' said Tom Lemmon, the council's business manager.

''When all is said and done, this facility will be a point of pride for all San Diegans, knowing it was our highly skilled men and women who built it
and that it provides community benefits for all of us,'' Lemmon said.

The Chargers signature drive begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at a parking lot at 13th and K streets in the East Village.

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos, quarterback Philip Rivers and former running back LaDainian Tomlinson are among those scheduled to attend, according to the team.

The Chargers need around 67,000 valid signatures to qualify an initiative for the November general election ballot that would, if passed, raise the city of San Diego's hotel room tax to 16.5 percent to pay for construction of a $1.8 billion complex.

The tax is currently 10.5 percent, with an additional 2 percent fee that pays for tourism promotion, making the increase effectively 4 percent. The
initiative would require two-thirds voter approval because of the tax hike.

The Chargers have pledged to chip in $350 million of their own money and use a $300 million loan from the NFL.

Team officials invited city residents to attend the event to learn more about their plans, register to vote and sign the petitions. The event will also
include food and live music.

The Chargers have been asking for a replacement to Qualcomm Stadium for around 15 years. In January, NFL owners rejected their plans to build a playing facility in Carson in Los Angeles County jointly with the Oakland Raiders, after which Spanos announced he would give San Diego another try.

Spanos said he has an agreement in place to have the Chargers become the second team in a future Inglewood stadium, along with the Los Angeles Rams, if the San Diego effort falls through.

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