Assemblyman Jose Solorio’s bio says he grew up “working in the cotton fields.” Like Solorio I grew up doing manual labor, with my father, who owned a small janitorial service. Now Solorio is trying to pass a new law, A.B. 350, that will in fact affect janitorial laborers.
Dubbed the “Displaced Property Service Employee Opportunity Act,” AB 350 forces companies that provide building security, maintenance, window cleaning or food services to retain the employees of the previous service contractor for 90 days and then offer those employees continued employment unless their performance is unsatisfactory, according to CalWatchdog.
What this proposed law boils down to is that companies that provide certain services, and replace other contractors will have to hire their employees. I remember my dad won a lot of jobs by replacing ineffective janitorial service providers. Dad would have had a cow if he had to hire employees who did a bad job for their previous employer!
Why would Solorio support a bill that the Merced Sun-Star writes is “really about helping the sponsor of the bill, the Service Employees International Union, retain union membership and improve its bargaining position.”
Well, for starters the unions have stopped bashing Latinos and are now courting them. It wasn’t that long ago that most labor unions and their members voted for Prop. 187 – but now the unions, which have seen dwindling membership (except for public sector employees) see Latinos as a growth opportunity. “The number of Latinos who are union members has grown by 400,000 in the past decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unions had 1.2 million Latino members in 1992 and 1.6 million in 2002,” according to American Renaissance.
This is happening all over the U.S. n Illinois, where the Latino population is about 14.7% of the total population, Latinos represent 70.22% of the state’s growth, according to the LCLAA.
So how is Solorio’s bill being received? Here are a few comments from recent editorials:
- …a building owner notices that supplies are disappearing and suspects that security guards are sleeping on the job and may be complicit in the thefts. As a result, he fires the security firm and hires a new one. Under AB 350, all of the same security guards must remain on the job for at least three months — and perhaps much longer — unless the new firm can prove that they aren’t doing the job. CalWatchdog
- This is an unreasonable, unfair and unnecessary constraint on business. It would essentially dictate to an employer what his work force would be. Under this bill, the new employer would not be able to interview or conduct a background check of the retained workers before taking responsibility for them. Any business – a hospital or a hotel operator, for example – unhappy with the company that provided security or window cleaning previously, could contract with a new company but would still be stuck with the same work force it had sought to replace. Sacramento Bee
- The Legislature should show discipline – that’s a hard line to write with a straight face – and kill several ill-conceived bills. One by Orange County Democratic Assemblyman Jose Solorio, Assembly Bill 350, is a prime candidate for the scrap heap. Intended to help his ally, the Service Employees International Union, this nugget would require that businesses that win new contracts for janitorial and other services hire and retain the previous contractor’s employees for three months. This is an unreasonable protection and is emblematic of a crop of bad bills pushed by organized labor to enhance its sway. Private union jobs are important to the economy. But except in rare instances, the Legislature should butt out of disputes between individual labor organizations and businesses. Sacramento Bee
- Under this bill, the new employer would not be able to interview or conduct a background check of the retained workers. Any business — a hospital or a hotel operator, for example — unhappy with the company that provided security or window cleaning previously, could contract with a new company but would still be stuck with the same work force. Merced Sun-Star
- What’s really going on with this bill, you might ask? It’s backed by a number of unions – and hence by most union-funded Democrats in the Legislature – because it’s a default way of keeping a unionized shop in existence even when an employer – in this case, the service contractor – exits a site. The existing union could demand the new employer to recognize it as the bargaining representative for the workers it was already representing. Long Beach Press Telegram.
- This bill doesn’t create any jobs. It just adds the kind of regulation that drives business owners crazy and keeps them from investing further in the California economy. L.A. Daily Breeze
- A complete reading of the bill (see link on AB 350 here) does not readily reveal the language wherein which CalChamber found this policy worm, but happily, the Chamber returned our phone calls and, after a discussion with its lobbyist, explained the problem: a new contractor is required to retain all employees on site for 90 days and can only fire for cause during that period; the new contractor is not allowed to review employees’ histories and let people go for anything recorded therein. California’s Children
- This is another example of government sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong, telling a private employer who he/she must hire. Daily Independent
Solorio must be somewhat embarrassed by the reception to his bill as he has not mentioned it at all on his blog.
UPDATE: Solorio has responded to an editorial in the Sacramento Bee, with this letter.
An effort has started to stop this bill, which you can read more about by clicking here.