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Got called to bid a job on a state historic sight by the General contractor, and was told I have to hire or have a union guy as part of my crew. The project is a good size(5-6000sf) and easy for me to do with my regular helper, but GC is telling me that union guy should be part of the process.
My company is 95% a one man show, I have built a blast rig to clean painted surfaces in prep for new paint application. The bigger jobs I have been hiring a good friend(legal American) to help run the equipment. The equipment is easy to run but dangerious, one slip of the blasting hose and there could be physical damage(injection wounds).
What is the deal with hiring a union guy?
I realize the GC was granted a bid on a state site, but why am I subject to union requirements?
The job will only last 6 days with two of us working, if there are 3, 4, or 6 the job will not go any faster, the machine dictates the production rate and all the extra guys would just sit.
What are the liabilities with taking on one of the union guys, how are they paid? and who is responcible if they are hurt?

I am not against Union guys, I am just the guy who built the equipment and runs it, besides the one helper, no one else has run it in 3 years.

Any insight would be appreciated? ways arround it? couldn't the GC just put one more union guy on the paint crew and leave me alone?
 

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You'll want to clarify this ASAP. As a municipal job, it could be required to be a prevailing wage job, where your helper will essentially make union wages. But more often than not, you don't just hire "a union guy". Typically the union will require you to sign a labor agreement with them. Viola, you are now a union contractor! You can sign an agreement for a single job or site, sometimes.

But this whole situation needs to be explained and clarified. I see too many holes and problems.

Was any of this brought up when you bid the job? This could easily affect your bottom line.
 

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Most likely he's a signatory Union Contractor. He is obligated to only hire union subs and employees.
He'd be in deep dodo if he brought in a none union contractor or employee and asked the union guys to work on the same job with him.
I've seen that tried a few times and it ends up with the union trades walking off until the none union guy finishes or quits.
As a business owner you may get by without signing up as a union contractor for one job but you'd have to have the union employees hired from the local trade union halls. You wouldn't be able to do any physical labor on the job either. You can supervise.
At least, this is the way it works in Illinois where I worked. I've worked on very large projects contracted by none union companies that did the project with local union trades and every time they've been surprised and pleased with the quality or work and efficiency of the union workers. I've also been on jobs where the union contractor would try to sneak in a none union trade.
Be careful what you get into. The BA might let you do the job on weekends or nights when no one else is working if you play your cards right. But he might want a donation to his kids education fund. :)
 

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EVIL GENIUS
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Most state or any government jobs go to union workers, maybe this has something to do with it.
 

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Most likely he's a signatory Union Contractor. He is obligated to only hire union subs and employees.
Being signatory to a union obligates one to hire union workers for the tasks defined by intra-union agreements. If you need pipefitting, and are signatory to the UA, means you need (should) use pipefitters for the work, and not for instance boilermakers. In real life, if you are signatory to the UA, but no UA memebers are around, you are going to get away with having a boilermaker do a pipe weld.

A general being signatory does not obligate that contractor from using merit subs. This is why you see two gates, union and non-union. Often though, entire jobs will be union, to lessen headaches.
 

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On smaller union jobs the GC is required to hire union guys from the local hall . Most GCs have there regular crew and have union cards from a different area . Some guys are working none union subs , this is how i worked for a wile . We had a union guy working with us and payed him his wage +++ . We also had to get union cards from the area we worked in . We had 1 union member for every 3 or 4 out of state guys . As a 2 man crew it is not reasonable for you to carry a member , its the GCs responsibility John

What I would do is adjust my price of the job to pay the extra guy and let him work with you .
We hung alot of dry wall and metal stud in the 80s and we would pair 1 union guy to 2/3 of us some of the guy where OK to work with .
 

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Motorboatin' son of a ...
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If he's a union contractor he needs to hire union subs. He can hire you alone as a sub if you do all the work and you have a union journeyman card without being a union signatory contractor. Maybe for this job you can go down to the hall and pay $300-400 bucks to join and do the work yourself on this job.

If it's just a prevailing wage job, you have to make sure to pay your employees the prevailing wage.

You need to clarify with the GC.
 

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If he's a union contractor he needs to hire union subs. He can hire you alone as a sub if you do all the work and you have a union journeyman card without being a union signatory contractor. Maybe for this job you can go down to the hall and pay $300-400 bucks to join and do the work yourself on this job.
This is all so wrong, I don't know where to start. Union contractors are not obligated to use union subs. Most members of managment are precluded from joining a union, because they themselves can interfere with the collective bargaining. Electricains are an exception to this.
 

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One way that I have learned of recently that union subs can be required on public works jobs is called a Project Labor Agreement. This may be the case here. Regardless, if the painters union does not want owners touching tools, the OP is going to have a hard time working this job if it is indeed under a PLA. On private jobs, it is up to the site owner, customer, and or GC if union or merit contractors are to be required.
 

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This is all so wrong, I don't know where to start. Union contractors are not obligated to use union subs. Most members of managment are precluded from joining a union, because they themselves can interfere with the collective bargaining. Electricains are an exception to this.
Not entirely true. Most superintendents I work with are Union carpenters. But you are correct that union GC's may use non union subs. Most management people are not affiliated with a union.

But as far as the OP goes, If it is a union job, the job will go much easier for you with the union helper. I would go to the hall and talk to the Business Agent for the area you will be working in. Explain to him what you will be doing and if there is someone he has with experience doing this. For paying him you will most likely pay him like any other employee for his wages but you will have to write a check to the union hall for his benefits. If someone gets hurt you are responsible. He is a employee just like any other employee. If any employee gets hurt your WC insurance covers it.
 

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This is all so wrong, I don't know where to start. Union contractors are not obligated to use union subs. Most members of managment are precluded from joining a union, because they themselves can interfere with the collective bargaining. Electricains are an exception to this.

actually your wrong. we have a contract w/ heavy highway laborers and operators. our laborers contract states that if we use subs and they are using labor that they must be union. whether is a job agreement or they are a union shop but THEY MUST BE union...
 
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