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Imperial Irrigation Board of Directors, Division 2 Candidates
Imperial Irrigation District headquarters in Imperial. | COURTESY PHOTO

IID: Controversial Labor Agreement Back Up for Discussion

The Imperial Irrigation District is set to talk about a contentious labor agreement at its next board meeting.

The issue, a project-labor agreement previously approved at the board’s Dec. 1 meeting, was brought up during the closed session of the Tuesday, Dec. 29, meeting. It was part of the meeting’s public, action agenda.

At the start of Tuesday’s district meeting, General Counsel Frank Oswalt read a quote Division 2 Director JB Hamby made during closed session regarding the labor agreement decision.

“I move to declare the board’s Dec. 1, 2020, action on item 25 as vague, unclear and ambiguous, and that the board did not properly enact an action on item 25 on Dec. 1, 2020, and that this item be placed on the information agenda for Jan. 5, 2021,” Oswalt said, quoting Hamby.

The motion was made by Hamby, seconded by Division 4 Director Javier Gonzalez and approved 3-2 by Hamby, Gonzalez and Division 3 Director Jim Hanks. It was opposed by President Norma Sierra Galindo and Vice President Alex Cardenas.

A project-labor agreement is a pre-hire collective-bargaining agreement with one or more labor groups that establishes employment conditions for specific construction projects.

The district’s agreement approved earlier this month is a 10-year agreement that covers any construction projects estimated to cost more than $750,000.

The board voted 3-2 in favor of the agreement presented at the Dec. 1 meeting. Galindo, Cardenas, and outgoing Division 4 Director Erik Ortega voted for the agreement, while outgoing Division 2 Director Bruce Kuhn and Hanks voted against it.

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