Wages & Pensions

New Report Finds PLA Pension Requirements Steal From Employee Paychecks, Harm Employers and Taxpayers

1 October 24, 2009  Federal Construction, State & Local Construction

A new study supports a key argument frequently made by nonunion employers and employees against government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs): PLAs harm workers because they confiscate health and retirement benefits earned by nonunion employees working on PLA construction projects. An October 2009 report by Dr. John R. McGowan, “The Discriminatory Impact of Union Fringe Benefit […]


Construction Union Pension Plans and Project Labor Agreements

2 September 11, 2009  Federal Construction, Uncategorized

A column in the Washington Examiner by Irwin Steltzer, a senior fellow and director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Economic Studies, discusses how Big Labor’s push for the hallucinegenically-named Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is primarily a strategy to steady struggling union pension plans (“Irwin Stelzer: Unions need growth to save unfunded pensions,” 9/4). The article is […]


Construction Unions Posture for Pension Bailout?

2 July 30, 2009  Federal Construction, Uncategorized

Folks are talking pensions, an issue at the heart of the project labor agreement (PLA) debate. Following this 7/26 WSJ piece, yesterday Politco ran a plea for pension reform by Sheet Metal Workers International Association Union (SMWIA) President Michael Sullivan (“Time for true pension reform,” 7/29). “It is clearly time to overhaul our current pension system.” […]


WSJ says Union Pensions in the Red. Project Labor Agreements to the Rescue?

2 July 29, 2009  Federal Construction, State & Local Construction, Uncategorized

As TheTruthAboutPLAs.com has said before, one of the reasons construction unions push discriminatory and costly project labor agreements (PLAs) is because they are a windfall for their mismanaged and underfunded pension programs. The Wall Street Journal’s July 26 opinion piece, Union Pensions in the Red, exposed the inadequate funding levels of numerous union pension plans’ and lists Big […]


Expert Advice: Beware of PLA Multiemployer Pension Plan Mandates

0 June 29, 2009  Uncategorized

PLAs often require contractors to participate in union multi-employer pension programs mandated via applicable union collective bargaining agreements referenced in PLAs .  Contributing to multi-employer pension plans is problematic for nonunion contractors for a variety of reasons highlighted here. An interesting article by Chang, Ruthenberg and Long Employee Benefit Attorneys warns employers about the problems with contributing […]


More on Union Pensions

0 June 11, 2009  Uncategorized

Yesterday I wrote about how pension provisions in typical PLAs: Hurt retirement for non-union workers. Employer retirement contributions into union pension plans on behalf of non-union workers are forfeited unless workers join a union. Keep underfunded and mismanaged union pension plans afloat. Expose contractors to underfunded multi-employer pension withdrawal liability. Increase costs to construction users because […]


Construction Unions Push PLAs to Save Underfunded Union Pension Plans

1 June 10, 2009  Uncategorized

A piece in The Washington Examiner (“Almost half of top unions have underfunded pension plans,” 6/7) reports that some major construction labor unions have underfunded pension plans.  This is relevant to the PLA debate because PLAs typically force non-union employers and their employees to contribute to union pension funds for time worked on a PLA project. Readers may […]