A Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority committee gave its support to Japanese rail car manufacturer Kinkisharyo International LCC in its dispute with the electrical workers' union over plans to build a manufacturing plant in Palmdale.
The Metro System Safety and Operations Committee directed on Thursday that Chief Executive Art Leahy and the government relations team intervene in the impasse between Kinkisharyo and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local No. 11, in Pasadena.
The IBEW is one of the parties appealing the decision by the Palmdale Planning Commission to approve a 400,000-square-foot manufacturing plant to be built on 60 acres in Palmdale.
The appeal was filed after Kinkisharyo turned down a request from the union to allow the Palmdale plant to use card check, a process that makes its easier for unions to organize a workplace.
Kinkisharyo, the El Segundo-based U.S. arm of Kinki Sharyo Co. Ltd. of Osaka, was awarded a contract in August 2012 from Metro, to supply 175 rail cars. The company needs to know by Sept. 30 whether the Palmdale plant can move forward to meet its delivery deadlines.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who put forward the motion for Metro to get involved in the dispute, said the loss of the manufacturing would be a blow to skilled workers seeking jobs.
“This vital facility will bring hundreds of jobs and tax revenues to Los Angeles County and state over the next few decades through the production of railcars that will be utilized locally and by transit agencies throughout the nation,” Antonovich said in a prepared statement.
Metro board members Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knable and Glendale Councilman Ara Najarian co-authored the motion.
This is the latest development in a story featured in the Sept. 22 edition of the Business Journal.