Frequently Asked Questions


The Coalition is an affiliation of six national construction unions (the Laborers’, Ironworkers, Cement Masons, Teamsters, Bricklayers and Painters) working with the crafts of the National Construction Alliance II (Operating Engineers and Carpenters) in order to make contractors competitive when bidding heavy and highway work.

By applying the Heavy and Highway Construction Project Agreement to those projects where there is open-shop competition.

It is a bare-bones, no frills, no bells-and-whistles one-project-only collective bargaining agreement that cuts out the fat and gets to the meat of being competitive.

Language that includes the transfer of key personnel, the use of composite crews, a liberal subcontracting clause, no travel or subsistence pay, the option to work four-tens, no manpower requirements, a no-strike clause, a make-up day, adherence to the owner’s or employer’s substance abuse plan, liberal apprentice ratios, a permanent standing arbitrator to immediately decide any grievance that is not settled on the job, and if there is a jurisdictional dispute the contractor’s original assignment remains in effect.

Yes.  On every project where the Agreement is applied a Project Addendum must be developed because the Project Agreement does not contain wage rates.  Therefore, every Project Addendum must contain wage packages.  It can also contain other competitive items not included in the Project Agreement.  Simply put, we have the ability to negotiate to the circumstances of any given project.  For instance, Project Addenda usually include 3 to 4 articles, but some have had as many as 10 articles.

Wage packages in the Project Addendum are almost always the wages and fringes contained in the appropriate local collective bargaining agreements.  However, those can be modified to reflect a wage freeze for a certain duration, or a freeze for the entire project with a a maintenance of benefits clause.  The options are endless, depending on the competition and the location of the project.  In short, we have the ability to competitively alter wage packages.

No.  You only utilize those crafts which are your direct-hire crafts.

No.  The Heavy & Highway Agreement clearly states that if a subcontractor is non-competitive or simply does not exist for a certain work item, then the Employer can sub to any source, regardless of union affiliation.  All the Coalition asks for is a chance to obtain competitive subs before the bid, not after.  If those subs are non-competitive or don’t exist, that is the Coalition’s fault, not the contractor’s. 

Either by filling out and returning an Agreement Application Request form (which is available on this website) or by calling the Coalition's Office.

The earlier the better, especially in those areas/regions where the Agreement has not been utilized in a long time, as that may dictate the scheduling of a pre-bid meeting with the local crafts and all interested bidders.

No.  The Heavy and Highway Agreement has been utilized on projects totaling $100,000 to $2 billion.  Project price does not matter.

You bet it has!  In fact, over the past 25 years almost 600 heavy and highway projects have been constructed across the country, totaling over $15 billion worth of work.  That means open-shop bidders were beaten on every one of those jobs due to the competitivenes of the Heavy & Highway Agreement.

Since 1954 in one form or another.  Through the years it has changed names six times, but its goals and objectives have always remained the same.  Treat contractors as partners.  Your success is our success.  The Heavy & Highway Agreement is a partnership, not a truce.

Yes.  A user fee based on the dollar amount of the project is assessd.  The fee roughly translates into 5-cents per man hour worked for the crafts of the Coalition.  And, it does not go to the Coalition.  Instead, the Agreement User Fee goes to our Construction Industry Labor-Management Trust.

It is the Coalition's labor-management committee which meets twice a year to discuss all aspects of the industry.  It consists of the General Presidents of the Coalition's crafts and of eight contractors - - - Bechtel, Kiewit, URS-Washington, Stone & Webster, Conti Constrution, Edward Kraemer & Sons, American Bridge and LG Constructors.

No. The Heavy & Highway Agreement supercedes any other agreement(s).