Project Labor Agreement Ohio: Benefits and Drawbacks

In the construction industry, project labor agreements (PLAs) are becoming increasingly popular, especially in Ohio. A PLA is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement between contractors or subcontractors and a labor union. Under this agreement, the contractors agree to use unionized labor on a specific construction project. The question is, are PLAs beneficial or detrimental to the construction industry in Ohio?

PLA Benefits

One of the primary benefits of PLAs is that they provide stability and predictability to construction projects. With a PLA in place, construction companies can accurately predict how much their labor costs will be, which allows them to prepare accurate and realistic project budgets. This predictability is especially important for large-scale construction projects that often require millions of dollars in funding.

Another significant benefit of PLAs is that they ensure that skilled, trained, and experienced construction workers are employed on specific projects. Due to the competitive nature of the construction industry, the use of substandard labor can lead to poor-quality work, delays, and even accidents. With PLAs, contractors can rely on a pool of well-trained workers that are familiar with the specific needs of a given project. Additionally, PLAs often require workers to be drug-tested and have background checks, which increases the safety of workers on job sites.

PLA Drawbacks

One of the primary drawbacks of PLAs is that they can lead to higher labor costs for construction projects, making them more expensive overall. Because PLAs require contractors to use unionized workers, those workers will typically command higher wages and benefits. These increased costs can be a significant barrier for smaller construction companies that may not have the resources to absorb these additional expenses.

Another drawback of PLAs is that they may limit competition, as only unionized labor can be used on projects that use PLAs. This limitation can lead to higher costs for consumers or the public entities that are funding these projects. Critics of PLAs argue that they are a form of protectionism that limits competition and stifles innovation in the construction industry.


Project labor agreements in Ohio certainly have their benefits and drawbacks. For construction companies, the predictability and quality of work provided by PLAs can be beneficial. However, the higher costs associated with PLAs can be a significant barrier for smaller construction companies. Additionally, the limitation of competition in the construction industry may lead to higher costs for consumers. As such, it`s essential to weigh the pros and cons of PLAs before deciding whether or not to use them on construction projects in Ohio.