How We Secured Prevailing Wage
Local 510 hired the FX Crowley Company to help us establish prevailing wage standards for temporary tradeshow and event work performed on San Francisco owned, operated and leased property. FX had done the same for the stagehands, and we used his original language as a model for our own.
We worked on our language throughout 2013 and into 2014. FX guided us through the labyrinth of city politics, with many trips to City Hall. We conferred with the City Attorney’s office, the head of MTA, supervisorial aides and the Rec and Park department.
A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With the First Step
We spent hours refining and defining our language: “What do we mean by temporary exhibits? What is an event? What about street fairs and parades?”
On May 22, 2014, Local 510 representatives testified before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance Committee about what trade show work means to their lives and their ability to live in a city like San Francisco.
On June 3, the Budget and Finance Committee recommended our administrative code language to the full Board of Supervisors where it passed unanimously. The ordinance is now with the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, which sets prevailing wage.
What Prevailing Wage Means to Local 510
This language will give us an important base line when we compete for work with unrepresented labor, i.e. workers who undercut area wage and benefit standards. It does not give us a magic tool of enforcement, only stronger guidelines. It will require continued hard work and attention, but it gives us new leverage in the continuing struggle for fair wages, benefits, and working conditions.
We were carried through our moments of doubt by the hard work of many and the perseverance of a few.
About the Blogger: Joe Toback is the Business Manager for Sign and Display Union Local 510 in San Francisco.