Residential Boom Creates Opportunities for Growth
Some retired Local 11 members may recall an era of copious electrical work in residential development when large tracts of single family homes were being built all over Southern California. However, over the decades those jobs have increasingly become non-unionized. Historically, residential development has made up a large volume of union construction work, but high liability issues and tight profit margins have led many developers to shift away from unions. Now, proactive efforts on the local and state levels are creating positive change in the current urban infill building boom.
While the Local 11 has been holding conversations with contractors like SBE about an anticipated growth in residential work ahead, State Building and Construction Trades President Robbie Hunter has pushed for legislation such as Assembly Bill 1701 to protect workers’ wages.
“We’re going to take that industry back,” Hunter said of residential construction. The legislation, which passed in 2017, holds general contractors liable for their subcontractors’ failure to pay laborers – a common occurrence at residential building sites.