Light Commercial CBA Helps NJ Local Put 50 to Work

Published: October 25, 2016

local22Almost 50 members are working across northern New Jersey thanks to tenacity from their local and a market-oriented agreement covering light commercial work.

Sheet Metal Local 22 (Union, Morris, Somerset and Sussex Counties NJ) originally partnered with Quality Construction on a PLA-covered Embassy Suites jobsite in Elizabeth, NJ in January of 2013. Under the PLA for that site, the company put a crew of four members to work for the next year, at times expanding its site-specific hiring to a 12-person crew.

During this time, SM Local 22 leaders cultivated their newfound relationship with management at Quality Construction, often visiting the jobsite to discuss the benefits of being a union contractor. When that job ended, company owners had gotten their first taste of being a signatory employer and were satisfied with not only the crew but with the Local as well.

In Spring 2015, Quality Construction won another New Jersey hotel. At the same time, SMART Sheet Metal locals in New Jersey were busy piecing together a new light commercial agreement for the state, including infrastructure to support the agreement. Several contractors signed on a to project-only basis, and a nonunion workforce of potential members went to work in the light commercial market.

It took some time, but SM Local 22’s patience paid off. In May of 2016, Quality Construction finally signed on to the light commercial agreement—under which Local 22 has put almost 50 members to work with Quality Construction and four other signatories.

SM Local 22 Business Manager Tom Fischbach said “the light commercial market is a breeding ground for up-and-coming contractors. This agreement will allow us to establish a toehold with emerging contractors and grow with them as they increase their presence in our industry. By growing together, with them, we only add to our collective bargaining power that benefits every member.”