Understanding Workforce Agreements

Workforce Agreements, also known as, Project Labor Agreements (PLA) and Community Workforce Agreements (CWA), are pre-hire collective bargaining agreements that detail labor management relations in the workplace. There are a number of benefits for contractors working under these agreements: 

  • Opportunities to work with larger union contractors
  • Ability to accurately project labor costs
  • Competitive bidding
  • Standard working conditions across trades
  • Labor peace
  • Streamlined procedures for hiring and resolving disputes

One way many businesses set themselves up for growth is through partnerships with labor unions, where access to a ready supply of skilled labor equips contractors with enough workers to bid larger projects while also saving money and time in training their workforce. When construction workers are paid family-sustaining wages and benefits, the long-term sustainability of the industry is strengthened as well.

PLAs often include goals for hiring people from the community and from targeted groups within the community. The purpose of local and targeted hire goals is to open up opportunities for employment to local residents and/or groups of people who are generally under-represented in the construction trades like women, formerly incarcerated people, veterans, or the other chronically unemployed. Under a PLA, contractors are responsible for meeting goals for local and/or targeting hire.

Click here to learn more about PLAs and how to work with unions.