Practice Areas

Construction Industry Unions Make Special Deals

December 2012

By: Richard H. Wessels, Esq.

Continued union weakness has caused many construction industry unions to rethink their old hard line stance of demanding rigid adherence to area agreements. We are seeing with increased frequency the willingness of these unions to make special deals by negotiating an addendum to an area-wide contract (and, more importantly, to agree to project only labor agreements). In other words, the union negotiates an agreement providing that the labor contract is terminated when specific jobsite contract work has been completed. This cuts the legs out from under a later union claim that a company is bound forever by the signed contract and its successors. Recently, we have seen a whole host of these types of agreements (including riders stating that the agreement applies only to specific individuals and recognition of non-union status of double-breasted companies). Naturally, riders to contracts such as this can be exceedingly beneficial to construction industry employers.

Along these same lines, Wessels Sherman recently presented a well-attended construction industry labor law seminar. This seminar included a three-ring binder (about 300 pages) with great material on ousting a construction industry union, MPPAA withdrawal liability issues, dealing with construction industry picketing, double-breasted operations, prevailing wage laws, and project-only agreements. My ace legal assistant, Ashlei Stare, has all of this material in her computer and we are offering those who did not attend the seminar the opportunity to purchase at a substantially reduced price all of this seminar material including the three-ring binder. The cost is $75 including shipping. If you are interested, contact Ashlei Stare via e-mail at asstare@wesselssherman.com or at (630) 377-1554.