Project Labor Agreements

RPLG has decades of experience drafting, negotiating, administering and defending Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on behalf of all types of public entities, and nonprofit affordable housing developers. Our team has successfully negotiated and administered agreements covering more than $10 billion in project work – with billions more currently under negotiation – and has a proven track record negotiating with building and construction trades councils and their affiliated unions. We deliver agreements that achieve our clients’ objectives, including policy objectives such as local and disadvantaged hiring and training, including apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs – as well as cost-control and ease of administration.

The RPLG team enjoys negotiating PLAs because they are an opportunity to work collaboratively with local unions to achieve critical goals for government and the community, helping deliver crucial public projects and new affordable housing units. At the same time, PLAs present certain challenges: legal constraints concerning the application of such agreements; unique requirements of various craft unions and their training and referral systems; concerns of small and non-union contractors related to compliance and operations; general cost and operational challenges in the construction industry; and complex issues involved in developing hiring policies that will reach and benefit diverse populations. Our decades of experience working on PLAs have taught us the value of working closely with policymakers, management and operational staff to produce PLAs tailored to the particular needs of a project or projects and the needs of a particular public agency and its governing body. We engage policymakers and staff early in the process and communicate regularly with specifically designated individuals throughout the drafting and negotiation of the agreement, building our clients’ expertise as we move through negotiation and into implementation.

Meet Our Experts

Jonathan Holtzman
Jonathan HoltzmanFounding Partner
Julian Gross
Julian GrossPartner

Our team has worked on the following PLAs across the State of California:

  • Transbay Transit Center Project Labor Agreement (2011)

  • San Francisco Housing Authority Residential Assistance Demonstration Program (2015)

  • City of Fresno Transformative Climate Communications Project Labor Agreement (2016)

  • City of Martinez Project Labor Agreement

  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

  • Santa Clara Valley Water District

  • City of Fresno Project Labor Agreement

  • Oakland Army Base PLA and Local Hiring Policy (2012)

  • AC Transit PLA and Construction Careers Policy (2014)

  • State of California Exide Cleanup Project PLA and Targeted Hiring Policy (2018)

  • Alameda County A1 Project Labor Agreements

City of Fresno

Project Labor Agreement

City of Fresno – In Re Project Labor Agreement for City of Fresno (2019)

Successfully negotiated a Project Labor Agreement between the Fresno Madera Kings Tulare Building Trades Council, the City of Fresno and the Fresno International Airport in order to cover a terminal and parking garage expansion. The Agreement, which includes a targeted hiring provision for disadvantaged workers, was adopted unanimously by the Fresno City Council.

State Center Community College District

Project Labor Agreement

In Re Project Labor Agreement for the State Center Community College District (2019)

Successfully negotiated a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) between the Fresno Madera Kings Tulare Building Trades Council and the State Center Community College District, covering Phase I of the construction of the West Fresno Campus. Adopted March 10, 2020, the PLA includes a hiring preference and apprenticeship opportunities for graduates of the community college district.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

Project Labor Agreement

In Re Project Labor Agreement for Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (2020)

Finalizing negotiations on a Project Labor Agreement between the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the Santa Clara and San Benito Counties Building & Construction Trades Council, covering a projected estimate of $7 billion dollars’ worth of Project Work. The Agreement establishes a partnership between the Authority and the Community Workforce Coordinator(s) for the purpose of connecting disadvantaged workers with hiring and apprenticeship opportunities.

City of Tracy

Project Labor Agreement (in progress)

Project Labor Agreement (in progress)

Representing City of Tracy in negotiations of a Project Labor Agreement with the San Joaquin County Building and Construction Trades Council, covering certain public works construction projects. The agreement will provide quality employment and training opportunities for local workers, and promote cost control and efficiency on City projects.

Alameda County

Project Stabilization/Community Benefits Agreement

Project Stabilization/Community Benefits Agreement

Represented Alameda County in negotiation of Project Stabilization/Community Benefits Agreement for County public works projects, with the Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council and affiliated unions.  The agreement provides quality employment and training opportunities for local and disadvantaged workers, and promotes cost control and efficiency on County projects.

State of California

Exide Cleanup Project PLA and Targeted Hiring Policy

Exide Cleanup Project PLA and Targeted Hiring Policy (2018)

Successfully negotiated project labor agreement for $200m+ cleanup of toxic contamination on thousands of residential properties; implementation delivered local jobs and apprenticeship opportunities and labor peace.

Alameda County A1 Bond Funds

Project Labor Agreement for Affordable Housing Projects

Project Labor Agreement for Affordable Housing Projects

Represented Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California in negotiation of a Project Labor Agreement applicable to billions of dollars of affordable housing development construction funded by Alameda County’s voter-approved bond funds.  Two years of negotiations led to a groundbreaking agreement covering labor standards for affordable housing development projects, providing local and disadvantaged employment and business opportunities, and ensuring cost control.

Oakland

Oakland Army Base PLA and Local Hiring Policy

Oakland Army Base PLA and Local Hiring Policy (2012)

Negotiated groundbreaking jobs policies and PLA for the City of Oakland’s $5 million redevelopment of the former Oakland Army Base. Jobs policies incorporated into written agreements with the project developer, community-based organizations, and the building trades council.

AC Transit

Bus Rapid Transit Project PLA and Construction Careers Policy

Bus Rapid Transit Project PLA and Construction Careers Policy (2014)

Successfully negotiated PLA and Construction Careers Policy for $100 million, federally-funded transit upgrade project. Targeted hire requirements work within legal limitations for USDOT-funded projects, and implement requirements of U.S. Executive Order 11246 (goals for hiring women and people of color).