photo courtesy of Daily News
While researching the present day labor costs for the DWP water main replacement program to update yesterday's post on why it takes DWP crews twice as long - and twice as much money to replace a main water line than it does private contractors (now posted on CITY WATCH) - I accidentally discovered that costing only 200% more turns out to be a bloody bargain compared to what it costs DWP work crews to replace old power poles.
According to the Daily News, an internal audit shows that (even though privately owned PG&E in Northern California bills costs its customers $11,000 per power pole and even the City of - when it comes to difficult to reach poles - needs $14,000 to replace a pole) - the DWP estimated with all the union drafted work rules - or non-work rules, to better define the true intent of those rules - it would cost a staggering $25,000 per pole for them to replace their old poles.
And yet they were still wrong! The real cost ended up being $42,000 to replace a each power pole - which is just a hair under 400% more than a privately owned company. And, by the way, PG&E workers are all - unionized. So unions are not the bad guy here. It is one person running one union - and a generation of politicians who enabled him.
Click here for the entire story by Mike Reicher of the Los Angeles Daily News and after you finish reading it - let me know what the chances are you would vote for a massive bond issue - along with much higher water and power costs - BEFORE something was FIRST done to bring DWP costs down to no more than the costs of other utility companies.