State of the unions

The expiration of a long-held agreement deals a blow to the 'closed-shop' model

From the January issue: In a key sign that the relationship between developers and organized labor has changed, the so-called New York Plan — a century-old agreement that required most contractors to use union labor — was allowed to expire Dec. 31.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The New York Plan required any member of the Building Trades Employers’ Association — which represents the majority of the city’s construction managers and contractors — to use completely “closed shops,” with all-union labor. But in the middle of last year, the 1,700-member BTEA called for a halt to the agreement, saying it put their members at a competitive disadvantage when going up against non-union outfits for building contracts. [more]