WHY WAS ILLOWA CONSTRUCTION LABOR & MANAGEMENT COUNCIL FORMED?
Illowa was formed in 1985 to enhance
relationships and improve cooperation between labor
and management in the construction industry. A
marketing study conducted by Dr. Gary Olney revealed
a need to complete construction projects in a more
efficient and timely manner. As a result,
Illowa developed the IMPACT Agreement which has
proven its success on over 260 construction projects
since its inception in 1989. Under IMPACT the
building trades and contractors work in partnership
with owners and customers to provide the highest
WHAT DOES IMPACT STAND FOR?
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE IMPACT AGREEMENT?
WHAT DOES PLA STAND FOR?
IMPACT is much like a business plan for
construction projects. IMPACT is a contract
made between an owner, contractor, or construction
manager and the various union trade crafts employed
on a project.
IMPACT ensures that all the workers on the job work
under the same work rules, including the same
dispute procedures. By standardizing wages,
benefits, starting times, overtime rules, holidays,
and other technical issues, IMPACT has proven
effective at stabilizing schedules and budgets for
construction projects. The owner and
contractors are dealing with only a single set of
rules for every worker. There are no work
stoppages, and if there is a dispute, everyone knows
exactly how it will be handled.
IMPACT fosters a cooperative relationship between labor
and management that is good for business. For
owners it assures the primary goals of completion of
a quality project in the most cost efficient and
timely basis. The IMPACT Agreement provides:
*** Increased Productivity from a stable and
*** Guarantees no work stoppages
*** Provides highly trained professional
*** Efficient and professional construction
*** Quality workmanship
*** Stringent safety standards
PLA stands for
Project Labor Agreement and is used widely across
the nation on construction projects for increased
productivity, labor stability, improved safety,
economic reasons, and cost and scheduling factors.
WHAT IS A PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENT (PLA)?
Project Labor Agreements (PLAs), like IMPACT, are
construction labor agreements typically limited to a
single project and are a form of contractual
arrangement unique to the construction industry.
Both public and private owners use PLAs to ensure
that major construction projects proceed in a timely
and cost-efficient manner. A PLA generally includes mutually
agreed to work and wage rules for the duration of
the project, including deadlines, wages, costs,
production incentives and hiring.
PLAs are a useful mechanism in any construction
project involving a contractor and a range of
skilled workers in different trades. PLAs
provide an arrangement that will maximize
efficiency, stability, predictability, and
productivity. Their purpose is to facilitate
the completion of a project by getting all
participants to agree to certain ground rules.
PLAs benefit everyone involved: the employer,
whether public or private sector, developers,
contractors, workers, unions, local and state
economies, and the public.
CAN NON-UNION CONTRACTORS OR SUBCONTRACTORS
BID ON IMPACT AND PLA PROJECTS?
Yes, non-union contractors can bid on the
projects as long as they agree to abide by the
wages, benefits, and other conditions specified in
the IMPACT or PLA contract. Non-union
contractors have participated in IMPACT and other
PLA projects throughout Illinois, Iowa and the
ARE PLAs, LIKE IMPACT, LEGAL IN PUBLIC SECTOR PROJECTS?
Yes. In 1993 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled
in its Boston Harbor decision that both private and
public owners can decide when a construction project
should use a PLA. In its ruling, the Court
noted that: "To the extent that a private purchaser
may choose a contractor based upon that contractor's
willingness to enter into a pre-hire agreement, a
public entity as purchaser, should be allowed to do
Public-sector PLAs must comply with competitive
bidding statutes and cannot legally exclude any
contractor from the bidding process.
DOES IMPACT OR PLAs DISCRIMINATE AGAINST
NON-UNION CONTRACTORS AND WORKERS?
union and non-union contractors are free to bid on
projects covered by IMPACT. Because both union
and non-union contractors are free to bid on
projects covered by PLAs, they avoid the favoritism
that competitive bidding laws are designed to
prevent. Contract awards are made to both
union and on-union companies. Those same
contractors are not required to become union
contractors, that is, signatories to the respective
area craft agreement. but only to become signatories
to the IMPACT Agreement.
Organizations representing non-union contractors
have challenged the fairness and legality of some
PLAs. But in endorsing PLA use, the courts
have responded by essentially stating: Contractors
are free to participate or not participate in the
PLA bidding process. if you play the game, you
have to play by its rules. Otherwise seek your
business opportunities elsewhere.
The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear: Those
contractors who do not normally enter into such PLA
agreements are faced with a choice: They can
alter their usual mode of operation to secure the
business opportunity at hand, or seek business from
purchasers whose perceived needs do not include
project labor agreement. The fact certain
non-union contractors may be disinclined to submit
bids does not amount to the preclusion of
In summary, government agencies make choices and
so do contractors. Contractors can choose to
accept or reject government's marketplace rules by
bidding or not bidding on a particular project.