Collective bargaining in the North American construction industry relies on an international union to issue or remove charters and to alter the composition of local unions through their organization and combination as determined to be best suited to the needs of the employees represented by the union. International unions, like the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), are composed of the local unions in the United States and Canada.
While representation under a substantial international entity is valuable, the local unions within the framework of an organization such as LIUNA function with autonomy over their daily affairs and negotiate on their own behalf when dealing with collective bargaining agreements. However, just because these unions have direct control over these agreements doesn’t mean they aren’t faced with an array of challenges.
In this brief, two-part article, a Tallahassee construction dispute attorney will discuss collective bargaining problems in the construction industry. As a contractor, you know that disputes are common. Whether they are the result of clashes with an owner, federal entity, or even a fellow union member, it’s always advisable to partner with a Tallahassee construction mediation attorney who can help you reach an amicable resolution without relying on litigation to meet your goals.
Who Handles Union Issues?
Typically, your union will elect a business agent to contend with day-to-day operations and represent the union’s best interests. Depending on the structure of your contractors’ association and the region in which it’s based, the duties of this representative will vary greatly. One of the most important functions of the business agent is to help organize local unions that are more likely to need guidance. This person can also assist a local union with developing affiliations with state and national organizations.
Generally, the collective bargaining agreement functions as a negotiation held between a local union pertaining to a singular craft and the employers of that craft who are represented by a contractors’ association. However, this isn’t always the case and there’s a lot of room for variance in this procedure. Due to the variety of bargaining structures available, often arising from jurisdictional disputes, collective bargaining problems are quite common. As such, it’s important to be cognizant of the possible solutions to collective bargaining disputes. We will delve further into this topic in part two.
Disputes Happen…Are You Prepared?
In the construction industry, a dispute can arise at any moment. Don’t let yourself be caught off guard. Partner with a Tallahassee construction dispute attorney who is experienced in negotiating disputes to help you reach a mutually beneficial outcome.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.