San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: “Labor Peace Agreement” clause within San Antonio Airport’s Recent RFP Could Potentially Impose Undue Burden on Local Businesses Attempting to Operate at the Airport

Hispanic Chamber supports businesses and their workers at SAT by proposing shift in RFP language similar to what was implemented by the San Diego County Regional Airport

SAN ANTONIO (February 8, 2018) – Today, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and its Board of Directors took a stance on “Labor Peace Agreement” language added within a “Food, Beverage, and Retail Prime Concessionaire” Request for Proposal (RFP) sent out by the City of San Antonio’s Aviation Department on January 18, 2018.

We understand the addition of the new “Labor Peace Agreement” in the RFP was vetted and recommended by City Council for several months prior to the release of the RFP.  This RFP process is already in motion and has been released publicly for close to three weeks with several businesses having begun the rigorous process of preparing their competitive proposals to submit by April 18, 2018.

“The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber believes that anything to help businesses grow, while providing a safer environment for employees is a good thing.  However, even though City staff had been in discussions with concessionaire operators prior to the release of the RFP, many Hispanic Chamber members have expressed their concern that the new “Labor Peace Agreement” may increase the costs of doing business at the airport in the future and, potentially, reduce the revenue portion that the City of San Antonio receives from all sales,” said Ramiro A. Cavazos, President and CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  “We believe this agreement is counterproductive to our members and their potential to do business at the airport, in addition to setting a dangerous tone for private small and large businesses throughout our city.”

As an alternative, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce believes that employee guideline language that was recently adopted by the City of San Diego for the San Diego County Regional Airport would better suit the needs of businesses and employees at SAT, while continuing to help spur and inspire further business, creativity and innovation.

Below are the recommended guidelines that San Diego used as an alternative to a “Labor Peace Agreement” in the RFP process: 

  1. The hiring or retention of Incumbent Workers who have been employed for the preceding twelve (12) months or longer by the terminated contractor, with Incumbent Workers retained for a period of ninety (90) days, unless there is cause to terminate their employment sooner;
  2. Employment of the Incumbent Workers during the ninety (90) day period under the terms and conditions established by the successful contractor or as required by law or other applicable agreement;
  3. Application of the term “contractor” to subcontractors where applicable;
  4. Where pooling of Incumbent Workers by job classification occurs, interviewing and hiring by the successful contractor from such pools for the first six (6) months of operations at the Airport or until the terminated contractor completely ceases operations at the Airport, whichever is later;
  5. Maintenance by the successful contractor of a preferential hiring list of Incumbent Workers not initially hired; and
  6. Release from the obligation to hire from the job classification pools when all of the Incumbent Workers within a job classification pool have received a ninety (90) day employment offer or the pooling period as defined above has expired.

“We ask our elected officials who insist this is a one-time requirement and who note this was only done to give people an opportunity to get good wages, to consider adopting the alternative language in the “Labor Peace Agreement” that more closely mirrors the language effectively implemented by the San Diego County Regional Airport,” said Cavazos. “It provides a more accurate win-win for the workers and businesses without jeopardizing the ability for our members to take part in business with the City.”

Click here to read the full statement from the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.