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Nonunion Labor Groups Outraged By Sacramento Kings Arena Deal

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The labor agreement for the new Sacramento Kings downtown arena that was announced on Wednesday has drawn criticism from some nonunion labor groups.

The agreement to guarantee the union jobs has been in the works for years. Now that an official deal is in place, there are some who are ready to fight for those jobs.

“There is no fair and open competition on this,” said Kevin Dayton.

Nonunion labor groups are upset. They say they are not getting a fair shot to work on the arena.

“We think if it’s an arena for all Sacramentans, it should be built by all Sacramentans.”

With 3,500 jobs up for grabs, the first face-to-face confrontation between union and nonunion groups began shortly after the announcement of the deal.

“You represent 15 percent of the industry. That is it. Nobody wants to work like you do. You are done. You are dinosaurs.”

“Fair wages and benefits is a dinosaur in this state, I’m sure.”

The bickering back and forth likely won’t stop there. The city could have a fight of its own. The nonunion-member group says it will join the effort to help put the $258 million arena on the ballot.

“There are many different options to look at,” Dayton said. “I’ve always said, ‘Why don’t you just build the arena in Roseville so you don’t have to worry about all of the urban politics?’”

With that thinking, Mayor Kevin Johnson seems to be a bit less worried about an arena vote.

“I’m not overly concerned. I think we did a great job of bringing business and labor together.”

City staff says the agreement with Turner Construction and the Sacramento/Sierra Building Trades Council also will  allow for some nonunion jobs. But for nonunion labor groups, it’s not enough.

“You are always going to have people on the fringes that don’t quite agree,” Johnson said, “but Sacramento did something very important.”

If you’re interested in working on the arena, the process for that is still being set up .

It’s best to go through your union representative. If you’re not in a union, an office will be set up soon to handle requests.

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