In L.A., Labor is in the House

Posted on September 8, 2011 by

Whatever you may think about pro football, a downtown L.A. stadium or international sports venue developer Phil Anshutz, the soon-to-be-approved project demonstrates the power of Southern California unions. 

City Council votes to greenlight the development and proposed state legislation to fast-track the process were spurred by the Los Angeles Labor Movement. 

The payback is big: 

Union construction jobs and neutrality deals which ensure representation to workers at the future facility. 

Critics may quibble with the overall economic benefits of another “L.A. Live” attraction, public subsidies or the need to shortcut environmental review. 

But the biggest benefit of “Farmers Field” might be political: 

A growing perception that doing business in Los Angeles requires a union seat at the table. 

Contrast this with labor’s diminishing clout in most major American cities. 

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and its top officer Maria Elena Durazo deserve credit for driving this union campaign. 

Though significant, the number of  jobs created by the project will – obviously – only marginally impact the region’s massive unemployment and underemployment. 

But Farmers Field is a useful template – and a clear reminder to the various power centers in the state – on what can be accomplished with labor in the house.

Comments (1)


  1. Greg says:

    I am proud to have played a very small part in securing this project for the City of Los Angeles. The County Fed and the Building Trades played a major role to move this project along so quickly. Labor with the assistance of many political allies, corporate friends, community groups and the news media were all needed to make this project come together. Congratulations to everyone who helped make this project a reality to enjoy for many years to come for Los Angeles!

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