Attention Contractors

The Case for Partnering with a Skilled Trade Union is STRONGER than ever.

On virtually every business metric, partnership with Minnesota’s construction trade unions offer top value for contractors. They help employers reduce their workforce recruitment and administrative costs, boost productivity and jobsite efficiency, and improve safety outcomes. This translates to a healthier bottom line. Read on for details.

HELPING CONTRACTORS SAVE MONEY

LOWER WORKFORCE RECRUITMENT AND ONBOARDING COSTS

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Non-Union contractors can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to recruit and train new workers for their job sites, and due to the economic cycles of the construction business, must often repeat the process for subsequent projects. When you partner with a union, the cost of recruiting or onboarding a new employee is zero. You call the union, someone with the skills you need is sent right away, and the union handles all the paperwork. When the project is done, the worker returns to the union hiring hall to await the next job. You can also choose to retain them as an employee, utilizing their skills and experience to help your business innovate and grow.

NO MORE COSTLY BENEFITS PAPERWORK

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When contractors partner with a union, they no longer have to deal with insurance or retirement paperwork for their workers or make changes to those programs when a worker is let go or a job is completed. Instead, contractors pay a per hour benefits rate to the union, which manages and maintains all benefits programs for the skilled trade workers they supply to the employer.

HIGHER WORKFORCE PRODUCTIVITY

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When you partner with a union, you can be confident that every worker you bring on the jobsite has the skills you need on day one. Union trade workers have completed years of apprenticeship training. Research shows that union construction jobsites deliver up to 22% higher workforce productivity than the non-union alternative.

“We do things with five guys that that are non-union counterparts do with. 7, 8, or 10 guys”
-Mark Ziegler, Amerect Inc.

SUPERIOR SAFETY OUTCOMES

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Construction is physically demanding work. Safety problems can impose huge costs on contractors –in litigation, insurance and workers compensation claims, workforce productivity losses, and fixing defective craftmanship. Research shows that union jobsites improve jobsite safety outcomes by as much as 40%. This results in higher earnings for contractors—not lawyers and insurance companies.

A RELIABLE SUPPLY OF SKILLED LABOR FOR MINNESOTA CONTRACTORS

A STRONGER WORKFORCE TRAINING PIPELINE

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Minnesota’s building trade unions train 93% of the state’s skilled trade apprentices. Programs are managed cooperatively with signatory contractors, and financed by a cents per hour contribution from employers. The Joint Labor-Management Apprenticeship system ensures signatory contractors have a stable supply of sufficiently skilled workers, whenever and where ever they are needed. Research shows that Minnesota’s union affiliated construction apprenticeship programs deliver training and diversity outcomes that rival Minnesota’s 4-year public universities.

The unionized construction industry…trains around 93% of the state’s construction apprentices.

FEWER LABOR SHORTAGES

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A recent analysis of contractor survey data from the Association of General Contractors of America found that non-union contractors were 24% more likely to report workforce supply problems, 45% more likely to report project delays due to labor shortages, 75% more likely to report losing workers to other industries, and 93% more likely to classify their workforce training pipeline as “poor” compared to their union counterparts.

THE VALUE OF UNION PARTNERSHIP

A Partner in the Bid Process:

Unions partner with signatory contractors in the effort to win more work. Unions advocate for contractors before procurement agencies and work to hold competing contractors accountable to applicable safety and workmanship rules. Additionally, unions work to ensure that bids are awarded based on construction competency, efficiency, and merit—so that more honest businesses can flourish.

CONTROL CONSTRUCTION COSTS

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Unions deliver stable and predictable workforce costs alongside higher levels of workforce productivity, better safety outcomes, more efficient use of fuel and materials, and lower risk of inferior craftmanship or labor shortages. That’s why research consistently shows that union construction projects are no more expensive than non-union projects.

BETTER FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES

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When contractors become signatories with a construction trade union, the whole community benefits. Research shows that union construction workers contribute more in taxes and are less reliant on publicly funded welfare programs than comparable non-union workers.

Union Construction is a better bargain for MN Taxpayers:

Union Construction industry delivers value for MN taxpayers: