Project Labor Agreements

For nearly a century, private and public construction users have turned to Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) to ensure safe, timely, cost-effective completion of construction projects.  Among other benefits, PLAs provide such users with a unique and exceptionally reliable supply of skilled, trained manpower, harmonize the terms and conditions of employment for all contractors and trades, and safeguard against costly disruptions and delays. These are some of the reasons why Toyota -- one frequent user of PLAs -- has been able to construct every one of its U.S. manufacturing facilities under PLAs at one-third of the cost of its competitors.  

However, because PLAs generally require contractors to pay decent wages and benefits to workers and support a trained workforce, contractors who build “on the cheap” -- along with their allies in government -- oppose these agreements at every turn. The Department, by contrast, strongly supports PLAs because they are good for members and our industry.

Economic Benefits for Project Owners: Safe, Timely, Cost-Effective Delivery

• Maximize efficiency, minimize risks, reduce costs and ensure timely project delivery
• Coordination of highly -specialized craft labor workforce for streamlined construction
• Manage and maintain time schedules and budgets by standardizing wages and work rules
• Used on projects of all sizes/types (e.g., govt. buildings, schools, hospitals, plants, stadiums)
• Major cost-savings through use of various labor -management programs (e.g., safety)
• Vital project planning tool to predict costs/manage schedule for overall successful execution
• Prohibits work stoppages, strikes, or any other work actions by the covered workforce
• Establishes a single procedure for handling work disputes even amongst various crafts
• Provides owners with the ult imate planning authority for greater flexibility and savings
• Gives an added sense of security with all crafts working in support of return on investment

Workforce Development: Building a Skilled Workforce for the Future

• Provides contractors with continuous access to most reliable supply of highest skilled labor
• Expands capacity of local union referral systems to recruit more workers for training
• Reduces lost-time accident rates by utilizing workforce educated on safety
• Limits the costs incurred by contractors paying worker compensation premiums
• Provides immunity from the costly risks of both an aging workforce and acute skill shortages
• Benefits from $600 million invested in state-of-the-art training programs each year in specialized skills for particular industries leveraged for future projects

Local Community Benefits: Local Jobs, Good Wages & Excellent Training

• Provides jobs for local workers who spend their wages at businesses in their community
• Attracts the best qualified workers by paying good, livable wages and benefits
• Provides advanced training for more experienced workers offer meaningful, life-long careers
• Provides health care and pension coverage for improved long -term health and well-be ing
• Offers greater opportunities for minorities and women to gain the skills to succeed in their craft
• Ensures expeditious access to a well -trained labor supply, even in remote and rural areas
• Adapts to local challenges and community-based needs during and after construction
• Use on public projects repeatedly upheld by courts as good policy by contracting agency
• Widely used in private sector by companies like Toyota, Boeing, Inland Steel, & Arco