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Project Labor Agreements Ohio

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  • 03/04/2022

Project Labor Agreements in Ohio: Understanding the Basics

Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) are agreements between construction owners, contractors, and construction labor unions that set the terms and conditions for a specific construction project. PLAs have gained popularity in Ohio and other states as a way to ensure that construction projects are completed on time, on budget, and with high-quality workmanship.

In Ohio, PLAs have been used on a variety of large-scale construction projects, including the construction of the Ohio River Bridges connecting Louisville, Kentucky and southern Indiana, the Columbus Convention Center, and the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. These agreements have been successful in promoting local hiring, reducing delays, and improving worker safety.

If you are a construction owner or contractor in Ohio, it is important to understand the basic components of a PLA and how they can benefit your project. Here are some key points to consider:

1. What is a project labor agreement?

A project labor agreement is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement that sets the terms and conditions for a specific construction project. The agreement outlines the wages, benefits, and working conditions for all workers on the project, along with procedures for resolving disputes and managing worker grievances.

2. Are PLAs mandatory in Ohio?

PLAs are not mandatory in Ohio, but they are often used on large-scale construction projects that require significant coordination and planning. The state of Ohio does not have any laws or regulations prohibiting or promoting the use of PLAs.

3. Who benefits from PLAs?

PLAs benefit both construction owners and workers. For owners, PLAs can help ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget by providing a framework for efficient coordination and dispute resolution. For workers, PLAs can provide stable employment opportunities, higher wages, and better benefits.

4. What are the potential drawbacks of PLAs?

Opponents of PLAs argue that they can limit competition and drive up costs by requiring contractors to hire from unionized labor pools, which can be more expensive than non-union labor. Additionally, some critics argue that PLAs can discourage small and minority-owned businesses from bidding on projects.

5. How can I determine if a PLA is right for my project?

The decision to use a PLA should be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the size and complexity of the project, the availability of skilled labor in the area, and the project budget. Consulting with a construction attorney and experienced contractor can help you determine if a PLA is the right choice for your project.

In conclusion, project labor agreements have become an increasingly popular tool in Ohio and other states for ensuring the successful completion of large-scale construction projects. While they are not mandatory and do have potential drawbacks, the benefits of PLAs in promoting local hiring, reducing delays, and improving worker safety make them a viable option for many construction projects.


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