February 8, 2018
NORTH SAN ANTONIO CHAMBER OPPOSES SAN ANTONIO AIRPORT RFP LABOR PEACE AGREEMENT
The City of San Antonio is preparing to move forward with a solicitation that represents a major change in contracting policy which could negatively impact local businesses. On January 18, 2018, the City issued a request for proposal (“RFP”) for concessions at the airport. The Food, Beverage, and Retail Prime Concessionaire for San Antonio International Airport (RFP 18-014) requires the selected private entity to enter into an agreement with a labor organization as a condition of receiving a City contract.
The alarming element to the RFP is the “Labor Peace Agreement Requirement” (LPA) which will “require that all solicitation documents and contracts for terminal concessions at SAT include a requirement to implement a labor peace agreement between the concessionaire, its affiliates and its subtenants, if any, and any requesting labor organizations which represent or reasonably might represent employees working as part of the prime concession agreement…”.
The LPA requirement serves as a significant policy change, and was added to the RFP at the request of City Council without public hearings or input from the San Antonio business community. The LPA clause in the present RFP may set a precedent and cause local companies to feel pressured to unionize, forcing them to absorb additional costs to implement union requirements.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Freedom Initiative: “Labor peace ordinances come in many different forms, but they all have one essential purpose: to apply economic pressure on employers to compel them to grant organizing concessions to unions.”
Such concessions may include “card check,” where employers recognize a union based on signed cards, rather than by the results of a secret ballot election; “neutrality,” when employers refrain from expressing negative opinions about unions and does not intervene in organizing campaigns; and “workplace access,” when employers allow outside union organizers in the workplace” and are subject to sharing all employee contact information.
“In exchange, unions typically must promise not to strike, picket, or otherwise disrupt an employer’s operations…”.
Such a provision could have a real and negative effect on our members’ businesses if it becomes a requirement in all city contracts. This puts small to medium-sized local businesses in San Antonio at a competitive disadvantage with larger national companies who can afford to operate on smaller profit margins. This also will send an unnerving message to companies looking to relocate to San Antonio, negatively affecting economic growth and business development in our city.
The North San Antonio Chamber, along with several other pro-business organizations, is calling on the Mayor and City Council to delay the RFP process until the business community is given a full briefing in order to get a better understanding of the impetus for this proposal.
We want to hear from our Members! Do you agree or disagree with the Labor Peace Agreement clause? Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
12930 Country Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78216