Project Labor Agreements2019-01-24T11:13:38-05:00

PLAs are a win/win for the contractors and the workers.

Project labor agreements (PLAs) have been used since the 1930s and can be either voluntarily entered into by contractors on public or private projects, or they can be government-mandated. A PLA is an agreement between the contractor and the labor unions that establishes the terms and conditions of the work. It specifies wages and benefits to be paid, and it establishes procedures to resolve labor disputes which generally prevent the unions from striking and the contractors from locking out the unions. Often, a PLA will establish criteria for targeted hiring, which can ensure that local labor is used and that a specific percentage of the labor be minorities. As a result, PLAs benefit working men and women, contractors, communities and taxpayers.

The Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council strongly supports the use of PLAs for a number of reasons:

  • The contractor receives a reliable supply of highly trained, experienced workers
  • Wages and benefits are uniform and clearly established through a single agreement ensuring smooth management
  • PLAs ensure labor stability and increased productivity
  • Labor disputes are settled peacefully
  • Local labor means more construction dollars stay in the community
  • Career paths are opened for minorities
  • Contractors are ensured that their projects are completed on time and on budget
  • Fewer accidents occur with a skilled workforce
  • Workers receive livable middle class wages and benefits

A similar document is called a Community Benefits Agreement. CBAs generally guarantee that the majority of a project’s workforce comes from the local community and include recruitment and apprenticeship opportunities targeted to minorities, women and low-income residents. They also include provisions to hear and address community concerns. CBAs ensure that those affected by a project will participate in the planning process and all sectors of the community will benefit. Project owners benefit from CBAs by generating support from the community, while the community benefits from the increased job opportunities and economic impact.

Project Labor Agreements2014-06-17T11:32:33-04:00

Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) are a proven way to effectively manage and maintain time schedules and budgets on a project that include all the union parties working on a specific contract. PLAs encourage fair competition among contractors by standardizing labor conditions.

PLA’s differ from standard collective bargaining agreements by including all of the parties working on a specific project, not just a single union and contractor. A PLA takes precedence over all pre-existing collective bargaining agreements between contractors and unions.

PLAs are used on both public and private construction and provide a project with stability, increased value and reduced cost by streamlining negotiations for complex projects. In light of the ongoing U.S. shortage of skilled labor, PLA’s ensure major projects will not be delayed by a shortage of qualified workers or labor disputes.

Project Labor Agreements include:

  •     Establishment of uniform work and pay schedules.
  •     Agreements by workers not to strike or conduct work stoppages.
  •     Insurance that major projects will not be delayed by a shortage of qualified workers.
  •     Management rights for hiring.
  •     Standardized grievance procedures and dispute resolution.
  •     Fair competition among contractors by standardizing labor conditions.
  •     Streamlined negotiations for complex projects, reducing costs along the way.
  •     ‘Social Justice’ building provisions to increase local jobs and support local causes.

Click here for more Research on Project Labor Agreements

Read A letter sent to the Columbus Dispatch Editor, by Jim Rarey, the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of The Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council regarding Project Labor Agreements. Click Here for the Letter to The Dispatch Editor

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