As IT design architects, BTP is often one of the first phone calls that an architect, construction firm, or designer makes when creating a new office space. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a marked trend in cabling design: the industry is increasingly moving towards subcontracting with non-union labor firms.
In BTP’s experience, we have found that some situations are not ideally suited for non-union labor. In certain buildings, only union workers are allowed. Likewise, governmental contracts often require union labor. We suggest that contractors take precautions when vetting on a non-union firm. Union workers tend to be highly specialized, have a deep level of experience, and a keen adherence to safety regulations. Are you getting the same from your new provider?
According to attorney Wally Zimolong of Zimolong LLC, here are some legal considerations that construction, architecture, and design firms should be aware of:
First, if the contractor that is hiring the cabling company is itself a union contractor, then it needs to be aware of the provisions of its collective bargaining agreement which may prohibit subcontracting work to a non-union firm.
Second, contractors need to be aware of the geographic location of where the non-union firm will be working. For example, if the non-union firm is working in a building located in a place like Boston, New York, or Philadelphia, there is a greater risk of labor issues in the form of picketing of the non-union firm.
Also, contractors need to consider whether the union firms working on the project will work in harmony with the non-union firm. Union firms, even in different trades, may refuse to work alongside non-union firms. While a union firm’s refusal to work alongside a non-union firm could be an unfair labor practice, contractors and owners could still experience work slowdowns or stoppages while that dispute is being resolved.
What are your experiences hiring union vs. non-union labor? Please comment below and let us know your thoughts.