SACRAMENTO -- Mayor Kevin Johnson announced a labor agreement today to get the Kings Arena project started in early 2014 and with a scheduled completion in 2016.
Standing in the Sacramento Downtown Plaza piazza, where about one-third of the storefronts are empty, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson made his proclaimation.
"In 2016 the Sacramento Kings will have a new arena on this Downtown Plaza mall. But because we as a community had a will, and a fight, and had a vision -- we fought to create a better day for Sacramento. And we are going to do that in 2016," he said.
Mayor Johnson also announced the Project Labor Agreement, in which the majority of the work done on the arena project will be performed by companies employing only organized laborers. The event was attended by many members of local unionized labor organizations as well as officials with Turner Construction and the Sacramento Kings.
After the mayor finished his comments, Kevin Dayton, chief of Labor Issues Solutions of Roseville rushed the microphone to denounce the project.
"We are prepared to fight against this scheme. This is a union scheme. They're getting control of this project -- it's all politics behind the scenes -- discriminating against non-union workers and contractors," Dayton said,
Dayton spoke for a number of minutes, despite jeers from organized laborers gathered for the event and caught much of the attention of the press in the minutes immediately following the press conference.
Another group opposed to the Project Labor Agreement -- The Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction -- said opponents of taxpayer funding for this arena just found an aggressive new ally as the CFEC vows to fight the agreement.