The Constructors’ Labor Council of West Virginia, Inc. (“CLC”) is a full-service labor-management-cooperative organization that was chartered as a West Virginia non-profit corporation. The CLC has been stabilizing working conditions, and wages in the Heavy and Highway construction industry in West Virginia since its inception in 1950.
The CLC’s Purpose
Prior to 1950, West Virginia heavy and highway contractors lacked a collective voice, and continuity. As a result, the contractor not only had to negotiate with the separate unions (Operating Engineers, Carpenters, Laborers, Cement Masons, Painters, Iron workers and Teamsters), but had to abide by the wage rates and conditions prevailed in the building trades. These requirements served to ultimately erode the heavy and highway union contractors’ ability to compete effectively with their nonunion counterpart. Consequently, work for the contractor and unions declined.
In 1950, the contractors decided to form an organization through which Heavy and Highway agreements would be negotiated with the unions. This organization would represent the interests of the member contractors and affiliated unions, with the primary purpose of stabilizing wages and working conditions. It was also dedicated to strengthening relations with the craft unions in a manner that would benefit both parties.
Union representatives meet with the CLC Negotiating Committee every three years to forge a new contract defining wages, and working conditions, grievance procedures, health and pension benefits and other provisions. The Agreements affect more than 10,000 union workers, and their families in West Virginia. The mutual respect on the part of both parties, a rapport based on fairness and understanding of each others needs, and a long-standing commitment to negotiate in good faith, have enabled the council and the unions to reach a unique plateau in labor-management relations.
The expertise and sense of impartiality of the staff has also contributed to the impressive record of settling individual disputes. More than 98 percent of the disputes that have occurred have been resolved by the CLC staff between the contractor and union representatives. This ability to settle disputes promptly and in a mutually acceptable manner has played an important role in assuring stability in the workplace.
The CLC offers negotiations between unions and contractors for a single-craft Heavy and Highway Agreement in West Virginia. The Agreement forged between the affiliated unions and the CLC contractors permits the contractor to choose with which craft it wishes to be associated. The West Virginia Heavy and Highway Agreement commands recognition for stabilizing the Heavy and Highway construction industry in the state.
The CLC is the leader in collective-bargaining negotiations on a statewide basis with the unions for the Heavy and Highway contractors in West Virginia. The wage rates, and conditions culminated from the negotiations, and subsequently agreed to and administered by the CLC, are the wage rate that thousands for workers are paid when working in West Virginia.