Construction Labor Agreement
DOE Oak Ridge Reservation
The present Presidential Executive Order promotes the usage of project labor agreements which provide
structure and stability to large-scale construction projects, thereby promoting the efficient and
expeditious completion of Federal construction contracts. The order goes on to say that it is the policy
of the Federal Government to encourage executive agencies to consider requiring the use of project
labor agreements in connection with large scale construction projects in order to promote economy and
efficiency in Federal procurement.
Project Agreements (or Site Stabilization Agreements) with building and construction trades unions
have been successfully used to assure that construction work on complex, multi-program/project sites is
performed in an efficient and cost effective manner not only on the Oak Ridge Reservation, but across
the DOE enterprise. The Construction Labor Agreement (CLA) in place on the Department of Energy
Reservation at Oak Ridge has been in effect since October 1, 1997. Prior to that date, construction
Project Labor Agreements had been in effect on the DOE Oak Ridge Reservation since 1954.
In addition to the CLA covering construction and construction-like work, such as remediation,
demolition and/or Infrastructure Reduction, on all Department of Energy Sites at Oak Ridge, a few other
specific agreements for large projects have been negotiated using the CLA “master agreement” as the
model. These specific Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s) were in effect for the BNFL Remediation
Contract at ETTP, and for the construction of the world-renowned Spallation Neutron Source Project at
the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As the construction work on those projects was successfully
completed, those PLA’s were allowed to expire, and continuing construction work associated with those
sites has been and continues to be conducted under the CLA.
The first major contract on the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF), the Bear Creek Road Relocation
Project, was also performed under a PLA, and all work on the UPF since has been performed under the
terms and conditions of the CLA. Signatory DOE Contractors: CNS, LLC, Facility Manager at the Y-12
National Security Complex; UCOR, Facility Manager at East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), and
performing remediation work at ETTP, ORNL, and Y-12; and more than 250 other signatory employers
have performed work under the CLA since 1997. UT-Battelle at ORNL is non-signatory, but has
committed to DOE in letters dated 1997 and 2000 to use CLA signatory employers to perform Davis-
Bacon Construction work at their facility.
Usage of CLA’s or PLA’s on Federally funded projects is the most efficient and productive way to
assure our employers and customers that today’s work will be done properly, and that skilled, highly
trained, security cleared, and qualified workers will be available in proper numbers for upcoming
critical construction projects on the Oak Ridge Reservation.
Benefits of Utilizing a CLA
An extensive and beneficial Management Rights Clause.
A contractually required monthly Union-Management Administrative Committee (UMAC)
Meeting involving employers/subcontractors performing construction work on the reservation,
all of the major construction Users, and all of the construction trades unions signatory to the
CLA. The monthly UMAC Meeting is Co-Hosted by the Lead Administrator of the
Construction Labor Agreement (CLA) and the President of the Knoxville Building and
Construction Trades Council. These meetings have been held on a monthly basis since the
implementation of the CLA in 1997, and serve as an excellent forum for problem identification,
resolution, and upcoming craft worker needs.
Provisions for skilled workers to meet current and future workforce needs trained under stringent
US Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship standards and certified Training programs for
application on Construction and Construction-like work such as environmental remediation,
demolition, decommissioning, etc. This “Skill-of-the-Craft” Training provides quality assurance
that workers have the skills to successfully and safely perform the work.
Substantive efforts to assure positive labor-management relations and the existence of a diverse workforce via employers and local unions involvement with the CALM Construction Labor-
Indoctrination (in addition to stringent training) of craft workers to perform work in a safe, cost-
efficient manner. Facility Managers at Y-12 and ETTP have achieved more than 3 million work
hours without a lost time accident; and the Spallation Neutron Source Project at ORNL recorded
3 million work hours without a lost time accident during the construction of that facility.
Consistency of work rules and practices.
Mechanism to efficiently resolve disputes.
Assurances against work stoppages for any reason.
Uniform terms and conditions of employment, including drug testing and security screenings to
include background investigations.
Mechanisms to conduct positive community outreach such as the CALM Hospitality House
Project for Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge, renovation and upgrade work for Emory
Valley Center, a major refurbishing of the Oak Ridge American Red Cross Center, involvement
in many Habitat For Humanity Projects, and miscellaneous small projects for the needy as
Construction is the original Temporary Worker System. All of the craft fringe benefits such as Pension,
Health Care, and Apprenticeship are a part of their Gross Wage Rate Package, are portable to any
signatory employer, and thereby 100% maintained by them and their signatory employers at levels they
choose for themselves. Any increase in wages is allocated by the union body either to hourly wages or
directed to fringe benefit funds if Fund Trustees and Administrators advise of that need. Craft workers,
as needed and requested, report when the job begins and they leave when the job ends. And, when the
craft workers leave your facility, the relationship ends or can remain in place if they may be needed in
CALM Construction Labor-Management Program
At the present time, all projections indicate a critical shortage of skilled craft workers over the next 10
years especially in the area of construction of major utility and security projects in the Southeastern
Region of the United States. The labor and management representatives involved with the CLA, and
the Executive Director of the CALM Construction Labor-Management Program, are interacting on a
regular basis with regional groups such as the Southeast Manpower Tripartite Alliance (SEMTA), and
single state entities such as the Tennessee Energy, Industry, and Construction Consortium (TEICC) to
project the future needs of construction users, and bring qualified applicants into the respective craft
apprenticeship programs to meet those needs with adequate numbers of skilled craft workers.
However, the reality is that the craft apprenticeship programs can only admit numbers of workers that
reflect the current or near-future need of the industry. If jobs are not available, the Apprenticeship
Programs reflect that with less Apprentices brought into the union for training. Therefore, regular users
of this critical resource can help themselves by closely tracking forecasted work and encouraging and
maintaining a healthy-sized construction workforce.
CALM Construction Labor-Management Program