Kings Arena: Battle getting started between union and non-union contractors

By Ken Gimblin

SACRAMENTO–Non Union construction workers aren’t buying that they’ll get a fair shot at working on the new Kings arena. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson last Thursday addressed the media, fans, politicians, community groups, and contractors that union contractors will be getting top bidding for working on the Kings new arena. That’s when the fireworks began when Kevin Dayton a Roseville political consultant took the microphone from the podium where Johnson had been speaking and said that there will be a fight that non union workers should have a shot at working on the new arena.

The project estimated at $448 million had Dayton and Eric Christen who heads a San Diego coalition for Fair employment in construction who is in favor of non-union contractors and who has worked with Dayton said there is enough work for both union and non-union workers on the project that keeping non-union contractors out is discrimination. Johnson during his speech is leaning towards using union contractors something that Christen said was not fair to non union workers “our guys are furious about this, opponents of taxpayer funding for this arena just found an aggressive new ally today.” said Christen

The Mayor introduced the “community workforce and training agreement” which was signed by lead contractor Turner Construction and the Sacramento-Sierra Building and Construction trades council. The part that boiled the non-union contractors in the agreement was that there will be a no strike clause and that an estimated 3,500 jobs were promised to be union. Also union or non-union contractors would receive union scale and benefits. The agreement also spells out that 60-70 percent of the workers must be from the Sacramento area.

Kings president Chris Granger assured the crowd that the new arena will be up and ready by 2016 one year before the proposed 2017 target date. Granger was excited that the building would be ready one year earlier this “will provide us with great comfort and certainty” said Granger.

Chris Mullin signed as team advisor: Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullin said he was excited about being part of putting a winning team together again as the Kings owner Vivek Ranadive will make Muillin his principal advisor. Trusting the NBA veteran and his managerial experience also a huge amount of his playing experience and success Ranadive has the full confidence that Mullin can spot top notch talent that would help the Kings move to being one of the top tier teams in the NBA, “I’m especially grateful for the unique opportunity to work in close proximity, with a world class ownership group led by Vivek Ranadive and the talented group of individuals assembled in our front office.” said Mullin.

Mullin brings a lot of qualifications to the job, a five time NBA All-Star in 16 seasons with the Warriors and Pacers, during his career he averaged 18.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 986 games. Mullin is a gold medal winner, winning two in each of the 1984 and 1992 Olympics, in 1985 Mullin won the John Wooden Award for most outstanding college player. It was during that time when he and Patrick Ewing were the two top prospects out of the college ranks. Mullin was selected out of St.John’s as a seventh pick by Golden State and Ewing was selected by the New York Knicks.

In his retirement days he worked in the Golden State front office as executive vice president of operations in 2004, Mullin worked at the Warriors for five seasons. Mullin worked with current Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro who worked at Golden State from 2004-08 as an assistant General Manager.

Ken Gimblin is covering the Kings for Sportstalk Radio