Union uber-boss Maria Elena Durazo told the City Council’s ad hoc Farmer’s Field committee Monday not to worry about Phil Anschutz cashing in on the billion-dollar-plus gift of entitlements he’s getting from City Hall because “extraordinary trust exists between AEG, the community and labor.”
That’s the only protection the city needs since the unions will profit no matter, no matter thst the chiseling NFL owners twice abandoned LA, locked out its players union last year and its game officials this year, according to the County Federation of Labor who loves to talk about “working people” when she only means the one in seven who are union workers.
Bad faith treatment of the city, stripping private sector workers of defined benefit pensions as the NFL is trying to do to the referees, nothing matters much to Durazo except that all construction work on Farmers Field and the Convention Center will be done by union workers, excluding the thousands of non-union construction workers and contractors.
No, what matters is the living wage for all workers at Farmers Field — something that is not in fact guaranteed in the development agreement the Council will approve on Friday just as Jan Perry’s ad hoc Farmers Field committee did on Monday.
That “guarantee” is a verbal promise from AEG which has put its $7 billion to $15 billion up for sale to the highest bidder. The actual development deal only requires that 80 percent of workers get the living wage within five years of the stadium being in operation or AEG or its successor company will face a $25,000 fine.
All the committee needed to hear was AEG’s CEO Tim Leiweke fill the Council Chamber with hot air and city staff double-talking around the holes in the various planning agreements and theory of how this deal will make the white elephant Convention Center a booming success — that after all is the biggest lie in this deal since nothing can make it successful.
To skirt any serious questioning of the deal despite Anschutz’s last-minute admission he always intended to cash in on the spectacularly valuable entitlements the city was granting without getting anything in return, Leiweke guaranteed that he and the AEG’s management will stay on and run things — until Farmers Field opens in 2017.
That’s when he gets to fully cash out and claim his status as a billionaire — if he hasn’t reached it already.