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Employer and Union Rights and Obligations

According to the National Labor Relations Act, an employer may not forbid their employees from exercising their rights to organize, form, join, or even assist a labor organization for collective bargaining purposes, or from working together to improve terms and conditions of employment. With that being said, a labor organization also may not force or push other employees into exercising their rights to organize, join, or form.

Collective Bargaining

With the help of their Unions, employees negotiate contracts with their employers to determine their terms of employment. Some of these terms include, but are not limited to, worker pay and benefits, work hours, job health and safety policies and procedures, leave from work, and more. These terms and conditions can be renegotiated over time, but set a structure for both parties as they work together on projects.

Project Labor Agreements

A Project Labor Agreement, PLAs, are an agreement that is reviewed and signed between an owner and local trade in order to begin a construction project with labor unions. It allows a company to hire qualified construction workers and guarantees labor stability on a construction project. Each PLA is designed to tailor the needs based on project owner/manager.

PLAs can cover anything from rules that need to be followed while onsite, pay rates and dispute resolution procedures for workers on the job. Not only do PLAs increase the the maximum stability of a construction project, but also increases the efficiency and productivity in workers.

The validity of PLAs has consistently been upheld in both federal and state courts. PLAs positively influence project timeliness, quality, safety, training, minority employment, employee benefits and labor peace.

MC3 Pre-Apprentice Programs

The Multi-Craft Core Cirriculum, MC3, is a thorough pre-apprenticeship program created by the North American Building Trades Union aimed to set a high standard in the apprenticeship curriculum for students to meet.

The apprenticeship program is an “earn while you learn” strategy, which also qualifies for some college credits. Once a student completes their apprenticeship program, they will have obtained skills, certifications, and college credits that they could take with them across the United States.

Learn more about the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum and what it could do for you below.

Prevailing Wage

Prevailing Wage is based off of non-union wage scales in order for local wage and labor standards to not get undermined. Contractors will win contracts based on having the most productive, well equipped, and highly trained workforce. Higher productivity lowers construction costs, however, it does not lower wages.

Prevailing wage laws benefit the blue collar jobs by encouraging more training, lowering the injury rate, ensuring participation in apprenticeship programs, and ensuring women and minority workers get prevailing wages.

So-Called “Right to Work”

Current legislation known as So-Called “Right to Work” laws realistically prohibit worker security agreements between a labor union and their employers.

These laws strip workers of the protections that were afforded by the unions by lowering wages and endangering the worker’s safety and health. They restrict freedom of association by prohibiting workers and employers from agreeing to contracts that include fair share fees forcing dues paying union members to subsidize services to non-union employees.

States that adopt these laws are truthfully only giving workers the “right to work for less.” Wages are at least 3.2% lower in these states, which also feature much lower rates of employer-sponsored health insurance and pensions. Since federal law already prohibits any American from being forced to join a union, these So-Called “Right to Work” laws do not grant any rights, only weaken unions and their protection of workers.

Responsible Contracting

Responsible contractor policies are designed to ensure taxpayer dollars are not spent on unqualified contractors performing work on public projects.

With a responsible contractor policy put in place, you can guarantee that only the most qualified contractors with a proven track record of quality work will be selected for future construction projects. Responsible contracting can be achieved through ordinances or laws, regulation, or administrative policies.

Responsible contracting benefits workers, as well as employers because it does not misclassify their employees as independent contractors, therefore they are able to receive benefits such as social security, health insurance, retirement benefits, unemployment benefits and Workers’ Compensation.

Safety & Training

The Santa Clara/San Benito Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, our affiliated unions, their members and their signatory contractors all promote a safe working environment. In order to do this, all members of the SC/SB BCTC are required to go through industry-leading OSHA safety training.

All of the industry-leading OSHA training will be administered at our affiliated unions’ state-of-the-art training centers and will also be paid for by their contractors.  This training will help protect our workers from workplace dangers, stop preventable accidents, and make sure all of our members get to go home safely to their families at the end of the work day.

A safe workplace helps keep the costs of construction down by reducing unnecessary downtime caused by accidents and injuries.

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