Yes, that was a giant, 15-foot-high inflatable rat you saw Friday morning on the sidewalk along Contra Costa Boulevard in Pleasant Hill.
The trademark rodent’s appearance along with more than a dozen sign-carrying protesters is the latest salvo in the long-standing animosity between the Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council and the nonunion Associated Builders and Contractors.
The trades were protesting Erik Bruvold’s appearance at the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association breakfast. Watch video of Bruvold’s presentation here.
The National University System Institute for Policy Research president co-authored a 2011 study that found the use of union-supported project labor agreements had increased California public school construction costs by 13-17 percent.
UCLA Labor Center and Michigan State University researchers subsequently challenged the findings on several fronts but Bruvold defended the analysis on Friday.