A Comparison of Operation Cost Factors: Union Versus Nonunion HVAC and Sheet Metal Contractors

Researcher(s)

Jay Bowman
Senior Consultant
FMI Corporation
5151 Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27612
Tel: (919) 785-9336
Fax: (919) 785-9346
Email: JBowman@fminet.com
Website: www.fminet.com

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Summary

The New Horizons Foundation, in conjunction with FMI Corporation, a respected construction industry consulting and research firm, sponsored a study that focused on comparing operating costs of union and nonunion contractors. The study concluded that cost differences in total costs, labor costs, fabricated ductwork, and crew mix contributed to the operating cost differences between union and nonunion firms.

Empirical evidence uncovered findings that surprised union and nonunion contractors. These included  significant differences in crew mix, and noteworthy differences in the cost of duct fabrication. Nonunion firms are better at planning and managing projects and devote more funding to training than expected. The findings also found that nonunion firms are making significant investments in facilities and fabrication equipment. The Foundation research study noted significant implications for union and nonunion firm operations as well as the institutions that service those firms.