Open-shop contractors have a significant economic advantage because of their ability to fully utilize helpers for unskilled and simiskilled work in all crafts, and to add manpower to labor pools. Despite the limited use of subjourneymen on union construction projects to date, enough experience has been observed to demonstrate the advantages to unions, contractors and owners. Using a high percentage of subjourneymen, properly screened, may bring labor cost savings, on a particular job, as great as 20%. The long-range benefit may be equally important because it offers the construction industry a new tool for meeting future manpower needs. Open-shop contractors have demonstrated an ability to train large numbers of workmen, including minorities and beginners, in a relatively short time by a variety of successful methods. These techniques should be equally successful in the union sector. Moreover, building trades unions and union contractors would win an increased share of the construction market by a more competitive performance. Subjourneyman usage can eliminate the inequity of the often used "permit system", in which referral halls have sent inexperienced workers to a job at the same rate of pay as skilled journeymen. Eliminating unqualified permit workers also helps maintain the integrity of apprenticeship programs. The current system of paying full scale to unqualified workers creates a morale problem with apprentices working on the same site for less pay. Moreover, the use of subjourneymen should help union contractors to meet minority employment goals in a positive manner by training workers onsite until they acquire enough skill and experience to qualify for journeyman status. (Author)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • A Construction Industry Cost Effectiveness Project Report.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Business Roundtable

    200 Park Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10166
  • Publication Date: 1982-2

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 26 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00391409
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Report D-1
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 28 1985 12:00AM