Project Labor Agreements

A Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is a type of pre-hire agreement designed to facilitate complex construction projects. Each PLA is negotiated and designed individually– tailored to meet the needs of a specific project owner/manager, and or community. By governing and establishing work rules, pay rates, and dispute resolution processes for every worker on the project, PLAs maximize project stability, efficiency and productivity. Moreover, PLAs help minimize the risks and inconvenience to the public that often accompany public work projects. The PLA also insures that jobs are being awarded to local Lehigh Valley construction and trades workers.

As such, PLAs help ensure that projects are not only completed on time but on or under budget. That’s why Project Labor Agreements have long been used in the private and federal sectors, and more recently by state, county and municipal agencies in the Lehigh Valley.

PLAs Stimulate Local Economies

When local residents have access to fair-paying jobs, they are more likely to stay in these local communities, buy homes, vehicles, consumables and support other local businesses. Their property and sales taxes buoy these communities in a cycle of local reinvestment.

PLAs Support Local Development

For generations, PLAs have produced spectacular, landmark projects that spur additional surrounding development. Recently, the Iron Pigs Stadium project PLA not only was done with spectacular craftsmanship by local workers but also brought over 1 million people to Allentown and has led to over 500,000 dollars in development already with more happening every day.

PLAs Help Save Cities’ Money!

Critics of PLAs argue that they inflate government contract costs. But a growing body of economic studies finds that PLAs do not increase government contracting costs, in fact they help save costs. A study by The Partnership For Working Families also show that PLAs help provide social benefits from higher wages and better workplace safety, increase government revenues, and elevate worker skills in the construction industry.

PLAs Make the Best Use of Shared Resources
by Facilitating Public-Private Partnerships

The best in PLAs reflect the best in public-private partnerships. As such they are great examples of best uses of shared resources. To this end, these projects also come to reflect each community because the community builds them. Ask local elected officials, city staff, contractors, educators, faith-based and community-based organizations about their experience with PLAs. We know you will be convinced that PLAs work for local communities!

PLAs Reward Best Practices

Project after project performed under PLAs consistently come in on-time, or ahead of schedule, and on-budget, or under budget. The best in project safety and efficiency are encouraged in a team process. Consistency in wages and work rules also promote easier project compliance efforts, potentially freeing up staff for other tasks.

PLAs Raise the Bar On Quality
and Reduce the Need to have to “Re-Do” the Work a Second Time

High quality apprenticeship programs and hiring halls associated with PLAs assure that the workforce on the job is trained and ready for the tasks before them. This saves money by eliminating the need to go back and fix mistakes caused by shoddy work; rather, the work is done right the first time thereby preventing the affected city from having to absorb additional costs.

PLAs Local Hire Programs Help Keep Jobs within your City/Community

In the construction industry, local hire policies mandate requirements and/or “good-faith efforts” towards employing a certain percentage of construction workers who reside in the local areas on construction work sites. The definition of “local” may mean workers who reside in a certain number of zip codes near the project site, within the citywide zip codes, within countywide zip codes, or in another type of geographic boundary that is pre-determined in the regulatory language.

Local hire programs work best when they are connected to comprehensive project labor agreements (PLAs) that include policies requiring job quality, prevailing wage, and benefits packages for workers. This way, the jobs that community residents will be able to access will be safe, high-quality jobs with family-supporting wages and benefits. Moreover, taxpayer dollars are then recycled back into the community.

PLAs Create Career Paths for Local Workers

PLA help provide a true economic opportunity; what they provide are more than just a single job on a construction project, instead, through paid apprenticeship programs, workers gain a foothold to a career with family-supporting wages and benefits. The high quality apprenticeship programs and hiring halls associated with PLAs assure that the workforce on the job is not only trained and ready for the tasks before them but that they possess the skills that allow them to excel in the profession for a lifetime career.

LiUNA PLA Factsheet Project Labor Agreements

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