(SAN FRANCISCO) – Teamsters Joint Council 7 hailed passage Thursday of Assembly Bill 93 by the California Assembly and Senate. The bill restructures a $750 million job creation program towards manufacturing employers that create jobs with demonstrable economic benefits for workers and California’s most impoverished communities.
Teamsters Joint Council 7 spearheaded a multi-year campaign to reform enterprise zones together with the California Labor Federation. Teamster members contacted legislators, attended hearings, and blitzed the California State Capitol to describe how they have been hurt by enterprise zones used for business relocations.
Nearly 100 Teamsters at two Bay Area companies — VWR and Blue Linx — lost their jobs as they watched their employers lured to the Central Valley with the promise of Enterprise Zone subsidies. VWR’s private equity owner, Chicago-based Madison Dearborn, became the poster child of companies looting the state’s treasury at the expense of good jobs.
“We thank Gov. Brown and the legislature — particularly Sen. Jerry Hill — for their leadership to make changes to enterprise zones,” said Rome Aloise, Teamsters Joint Council 7 President and Teamsters International Union Vice President At-Large, “And we are happy to see that our employers in food processing, dairies, breweries, and other industries that invest in good California jobs will be rewarded under the new program.”
The bill eliminates the eligibility of retail, restaurants, and temporary agencies to collect tax credits, instead focusing them toward manufacturing and bioresearch companies. The bill also sets a wage floor of $12 per hour or above. And companies that relocate need to demonstrate they are creating net new jobs and offer the right of transfer to all current employees at their same rate of compensation.
“For too long, companies have gamed the program to deliver one-sided benefits to them with little benefit to the public,” said Doug Bloch, Political Director with Teamsters Joint Council 7. “We are glad that these changes will reduce that.”
Founded in 1907, Teamsters Joint Council 7 represents 120,000 million hardworking men and women throughout Northern California, the Central Valley, and Northern Nevada.