A project labor agreement (PLA) is a pre-hire agreement between labor and management that establishes the terms and conditions of employment on one or more construction projects.
One of the primary reasons that PLAs are utilized by business and labor is to coordinate the numerous construction workers under a single umbrella contract for the project. PLAs are mainly used on large and complex construction and maintenance projects. For almost one hundred years, both public and private projects have used the PLA model for their original construction as well as maintenance. Notable PLA projects include Grand Coulee and Hoover Dams, Kitsap Naval Base, Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant, Hanford Nuclear Site, Plant Vogtle, LAX Airport, every NFL stadium, countless K-12 schools and higher education campuses, Walt Disney properties, NASA facilities, Limerick Generating Station, the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement and clean energy projects such as offshore wind farms.
PLA projects save taxpayers and investors billions of dollars. As such, private and public sector owners increasingly favor PLAs because they reduce the uncertainty inherent in large-scale construction projects and increase on time and budget completion. This is because the PLA model guarantees a highly-trained and skilled project workforce. The positive impact of such extends beyond the integrity of the project and also has implications for job site safety. Recent data shows that workforce safety is better on PLA projects. Part of the reason is that PLAs include language establishing labor-management committees that deal specifically with the project’s safety and health issues.
PLAs also encourage veteran and local hire. In addition, this model is also used to increase the employment of women and people from communities of color that have PLA projects in their area that could provide a pathway to a career in the skilled construction trades.