Candidate Questionnaire



Name of Candidate: Brian Thiemer


Name of Campaign: ThiemerforCouncil2014


Address, City, State, Zip: 1206 Truman St , Fairfield,CA 94533


FPPC#: _________#1367717


Running for Which Office? Fairfield City Council


Email/Phone  650.867.3657 ____________________________________


Permission for ABC to use your campaign materials in our communications:  Yes



Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction trade association of 70 chapters representing 22,000 members with more than 2 million employees.  In California, five chapters of ABC represent more than 1100 members.  ABC supports fair and open competition, free enterprise, an entrepreneurial economy, freedom of choice for workers concerning union membership and training programs, balanced budgets, lower taxes, and reasonable regulation.  Our members range from some of the largest construction companies in the country to small businesses with five or fewer employees.  Most ABC members in California perform commercial, industrial, and public works construction, with very few members involved in residential construction.


The Associated Builders and Contractors of Northern California represents merit-shop contractors and workers and advocates for fair, open and competitive bidding on public works projects. We believe in increasing opportunities for all workers regardless of their affiliation. We believe it is important for government agencies to represent taxpayer’s interests and use the most qualified contractors at the best price.


Please indicate on the questionnaire where you stand on the following issues.  You may choose more than one selection:


1.  Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements


Government-mandated Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) are 20-60 page documents negotiated between public entities and labor union lawyers and lobbyists that limit competitive bidding and establish costly requirements on a construction project that essentially limit the project to union-only hires.  The history of PLAs show they drive up the cost of construction by nearly 20%.  Although contractors are not allowed to participate in PLA negotiations, they are required to sign and abide by the PLA in order to work on a project.  Union-only provisions in PLAs include the following: required payment of health and welfare benefits to union trust funds instead of the company’s own benefit program; all workers must be obtained from union hiring halls; all apprentices must come from union programs despite the existence of state-approved non-union programs; all workers must pay union dues and fees.  Unions have also proposed that the state legislature mandate PLAs on construction projects funded by state bond measures.


□          I oppose PLAs on public works projects.



2.  Prevailing Wage


Since the 1930s, contractors on state-funded public works projects worth $1000 or more (in most cases) are required to pay “prevailing wages” determined by the California Department of Industrial Relations for each trade on a regional basis.  Prevailing wages are calculated using the modal (most commonly seen) rate and therefore are always the union collective bargaining rates.  When Governor Gray Davis was in office, prevailing wage coverage expanded to include private projects that receive any sort of assistance from government.  Davis appointees in the Department of Industrial Relations attempted to expand prevailing wage coverage to assembly and fabrication work done off-site for a public works job. In 2013, prevailing wage coverage was expanded to include certain on-site private refinery work.


□          I do not support the expansion of prevailing wage to purely private industry worksites.

□          I want to repeal prevailing wage.


3. Apprenticeship


The State of California requires contractors to employ one apprentice (worker in training) from a state-approved apprenticeship program for one hour for every five hours worked by a journeyperson.  The Division of Apprenticeship Standards regulates apprenticeship programs, which require a certain amount of classroom and on-the-job training depending on the trade.  Until the late 1980s, unions held a monopoly on state-approved apprenticeship programs.  After years of costly court battles, Merit Shop associations such as ABC won approval to operate apprenticeship programs in a few trades.  While Governor Gray Davis was in office, unions and political appointees worked to shut down Merit Shop apprenticeship programs and restore the old union monopoly.  Under a law passed in 1999, the state legislature allows the state to approve a new program or permit an existing program to expand to a new county only if there is a need, and the Davis Administration saw no need for a Merit Shop program where a union program already existed.  The state now also requires contractors to pay apprentices prevailing wages even when they work on private projects.  Some bills signed by Governor Davis prohibit an apprentice from working on certain projects unless the apprentice is enrolled in a program that has five years of graduates, thus preventing apprentices in newly-approved programs from working on those projects.  The discrimination became so brazen that in 2002 the U.S. Department of Labor began proceedings to end California’s authority to regulate apprenticeship for projects receiving federal funds.


□          I oppose requiring apprentices to be enrolled in programs with five years of graduates without exempting new programs.

□          I support comprehensive reform of apprenticeship laws to end union control of the approval and regulatory process.

□          I support repealing apprenticeship requirements.

□          I believe both union and non-union apprenticeship programs have a place in the training process.

Brian’s NOTE: Workers ,Employers & Consumers should have a choice of which, if any, apprenticeship program to participate in; not restrictions enforced by state law.


4.  Greenmail


Since the mid-1990s, lawyers funded by construction unions have used environmental objections to delay the permitting of private commercial, residential, and industrial projects until the owner agrees to build with a union-only PLA.  Only then the union lawyers allow the projects to move forward.  ABC wants to see local government officials openly and vocally object to this kind of environmental permit extortion, or “greenmail.”


□          I will speak out against greenmail when it happens in my community.


5.  Preserving Fair and Open Competition in California


In September 2009, nationally known pollster Frank Lutz surveyed Americans about taxpayer funded bidding procedures. 88% said they preferred a “fair, open, and competitive bidding process.”  12% felt that unions should have the exclusive right to the work.  A statement can be made to the taxpayers through a “Fair and Open Competition” Ordinance to use the most qualified contractors at the best price and to eliminate the use of union-exclusive Project Labor Agreements.


□          Would you support a fair and open competition ordinance?

□          Would you introduce a fair and open competition ordinance?




Signed: ____________________Brian Thiemer_______________________________


Date: ________August 8,2014_____________________________________________