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A mandated PLA will promote the hiring of certified Maryland minority and women owned (MBE) businesses.

Fact: Less than 15% of the certified MBE firms listed in the Maryland Department of Transportation MBE certification database are union signatory. This means at least 85% of certified Maryland MBEs will not be able to participate on the project. Additionally, it will be almost impossible for the State to meet its 29% aspirational goal for MBE utilization if a mandated PLA is required.


Union workers/apprentices on mandated PLA projects are more skilled.

Fact: Construction job tasks that you perform in a particular trade are identical between union and non-union jobs. When it comes to apprenticing and beginning a career in construction, workers/apprentices both get formal training through a trade school or group. For example, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc (ABC) or Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC), are two major non-union trade groups that facilitate and help sponsor apprenticeship programs through the non-union contracting companies that affiliate with them. An apprenticeship through ABC or IEC would provide the classroom-based instruction and hours on-the-job you need to earn your licenses and certifications which are identical to their union counterparts.


Unions pay better wages.

Fact: Non-union shops in Maryland are required to pay a prevailing wage rate across the varying construction trades. These prevailing wages are consistent with union wages and are set to create strong compensation rates across the construction industry occupations, benefitting workers and taxpayers alike. Prevailing wage laws can ensure that government dollars do not undercut local wage and benefit standards, support good jobs, help close racial pay gaps, and promote quality work and produce good value for Maryland taxpayers.


Unions offer better benefit packages.

Fact: Non-union shops often offer retirement plans that include matching employee contributions up to 10%. This means you could sock away a dollar amount that is equal to 20% of your total annual income in an account that will grow over time. These 401K and Individual Retirement Account (IRA) plans give workers the freedom to manage their own investments to some extent, giving them more control over the money that’s being contributed toward their retirement. Additionally, with the Affordable Care Act in place, basic employer-paid medical benefits are now standard. Despite the fact non-union contractors have their own benefits plans, mandated PLAs require them to pay their workers’ health and retirement benefits to union benefit and pension funds. Thus, non-union companies have to pay benefits twice: once to the union and once to the company plan.


Mandated PLAs prevent wage theft amongst construction workers.

Fact: Construction workers could suffer wage theft due to government-mandated PLAs as nonunion workers (and some union workers) lose an estimated 34% of wages and benefits earned on a PLA project unless they accept union representation, join a specific union, pay membership dues and meet the union benefits plan’s minimum 5-year vesting requirements. Additionally, if the worker does not meet the vesting requirement, all the money contributed to their union pension will be forfeited which is tantamount to wage theft.