Re "Wage Dispute Stalls Shop Center Plans" (March 12): On behalf of 33,000 construction families in Orange County, we would like to thank the Garden Grove City Council for its consideration of construction families on the proposed Smith's Food and Drug Store project.
Council members must see that with all the government subsidy being used to build this retail center, it makes sense to question this Utah-based company on its practice of flying construction crews in from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, and other states to build California's stores, while leaving local workers unemployed.
Garden Grove must know that flying in low-wage workers means that their paychecks take the same plane home on Friday night. This breaks, and has broken, the cycle of local economies all over Southern California.
Local businesses do not recapture those invested government funds (local payroll) in the form of local spending, and government will not see the tax revenue created by a local payroll circulating through the Garden Grove economy. Any money saved would be saved by a corporation fattening itself on the public treasury. This will come at great expense to the local community.
The question this presents should be an issue in all cities where Smith's plans to expand. How many groceries do you really think residents can buy with unemployment checks? Promoting these projects should be for the betterment of the community. Garden Grove sets a good example for all hard-pressed local economies looking to get the most bang for their buck while truly serving their constituents.
MICHAEL POTTS, Executive Secretary, Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO