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The Pros and Cons of Project Labor Agreements Part 1

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Project labor agreements (PLAs) are a point of contention among many in the construction industry. While some see them as a necessity for ensuring a balance of power between workforce and construction organizations, many see them as an unnecessary and discriminatory strain on the industry. In this two-part series, a Greensboro construction attorney at Cotney Construction Law will be discussing the pros and cons of PLAs. For any questions regarding your rights on a government-funded construction project, please consult with an experienced attorney at our Greensboro construction law firm.

What Are Project Labor Agreements?

A PLA is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement made with a union that establishes the working conditions and contractual terms before a project breaks ground. They are intended to control costs, increase quality, and ensure that projects are completed on time. Under PLAs, unions control hiring practices, and non-union employees must agree to union control. Executive Order 13502 incentivizes executive agencies to use PLAs on large-scale, federally-funded construction projects; however, executive agencies must not discriminate against non-union contractors during the bidding process.

What Are the Positive Aspects of Project Labor Agreements?

By setting expectations in advance, there are several upsides to project labor agreements. The potential benefits are as follows:

  • Minimized delays:  Strikes, lockouts, and other interruptions to labor are not permitted under a PLA.
  • Cut costs: Improved efficiency results from conditions being decided in advance.
  • Better conflict resolution: When there is a dispute, PLAs encourage conflict resolution such as arbitration and mediation.
  • Safer working conditions: Health and safety conditions are made a priority.
  • Higher quality of life: Often to the satisfaction of employees, wages and benefits are negotiated in advance.

While the above benefits are impressive, there are many in the construction industry that vehemently oppose PLAs. To learn more about the downsides of PLAs, please read part two. If you believe you’ve been discriminated against during the bidding process and would like to protest a bid, consult with a Greensboro construction lawyer at Cotney Construction Law to ensure that your rights are protected.

If you would like to speak with a lawyer at our Greensboro construction law firm, please contact us today.

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.