10 Things Construction Employers Need to Know About Unions
By Ryan L. Young
Construction employers share a unique relationship with unions. From voluntary recognition of a union as the bargaining representative for its employees to the special rules that apply to the termination of an employer's collective bargaining agreement with a union, there are a number of idiosyncrasies of which many construction employers are unaware. To help highlight some of the more important characteristics of being a union employer, I've compiled the following list of ten things that I feel construction employers need to know about unions:
1. Most construction employers become a union employer by signing a memorandum of agreement (aka a memorandum of understanding). I commonly refer to this agreement as a "me too" agreement because it generally consists of one or two pages which state that the employer agrees to be bound to a much larger agreement (commonly referred to as the Master Agreement).
2. The Master Agreement binds union employers to the various trust fund agreements.
Among the many obligations set out in the Master Agreement is the obligation to make contributions to the various union trust funds. The obligation to make monthly contributions to the various funds is often where union employers experience the most trouble.