Project Labor Agreements

a benchmark for quality and consistency

Union Members on Job

What are Project Labor Agreements?

A comprehensive pre-hire collective bargaining agreement. That means basic terms and conditions for labor are established in advance for everyone involved in the project: the public sector employer, contractors and subcontractors, and the labor force.

Union Project Managers

What are the Benefits?

Under a PLA, contractors make exact bids. Costs are established for labor. Those costs include wages and benefits including health insurance, and workers’ compensation. No surprises!

No Surprises?

None. A typical PLA includes no-strike, no lock-out agreements. And for additional headache relief, a PLA includes procedures for settling – quickly – any problems or disputes that might develop during the project.

What About My Budget?

Your budget is safe with a PLA. There are no hidden costs and no cost overruns. You won’t be confronted with unexpected wage demands or disputes halfway through the project. One more headache eliminated.

Do I Have to use Union Contractors?

No. Public works PLAs never restrict bidding solely to union contractors. A PLA is available to any contractor who will accept its terms. It’s the contractor’s decision.

Union Labor?

No again. Public-owner PLAs do not exclude nonunion labor.

But I Want to Negotiate for Lower Wages

Lower wages generally results in unforseen expenses. We offer the security of a guaranteed result. There are no hidden costs with a PLA. Everything is settled before construction begins, right up front for the life of the project.

What About Transparency?

No fancy footwork here. Most PLAs are drafted by project or construction managers retained by the public entity.

And the Union?

The union has input like all other parties to a PLA. It does not lead or dominate the proceedings.

How Long Have PLA's Been Around?

PLAs have been used for more than 60 years. They have an impressive record.

Are PLA's Used Only in Public Sector?

Not at all. Corporations, large and small have managed their construction projects with PLAs…corporations like General Motors, British Petroleum, Walt Disney and Toyota.

Impress Me...

  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • Illinois Central College
  • Quincy Veterans Home
  • Peoria Riverfront Museum
  • Peoria County Nursing Home
  • Main Street Commons
  • Western Illinois University
  • Peoria Civic Center
  • Limestone Township Fire Protection District
  • Hotel Pere Marquette / Marriott Hotel
  • Rushville Correctional Center
  • Wildlife Prairie Park
  • Peoria Housing Authority
  • And Many More…

Those are some of the big names, but PLAs are used routinely in hundreds of smaller construction projects at state, county, and municipal levels. Every project, big or small, had enormous headache potential (by the way, how is your headache?) but in each case, a PLA administered in advance eased the pain.

Read the Full PDF

Read the full Project Labor Agreements PDF