The State Building Trades stays involved in issues that impact our members’ working lives—from good wages and benefits, to creating a steady stream of work, to keeping the industry strong through apprenticeship. We’ve also been active in promoting our industry to women and people of color and ensuring that they can survive and thrive in the construction careers.


We actively combat the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Misclassification harms workers by denying them legally owed wages and benefits such as health insurance, paid time off and workers’ compensation. Misclassification also creates an un-level playing field for law-abiding employers.


A Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project. Studies have shown that PLAs are good for both public and private-sector construction projects. We oppose Iowa’s law banning PLAs on public construction projects.


We support workforce training through Registered Apprenticeship programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, including expanding union apprenticeship readiness programs and supporting age-appropriate and safe career exploration programs for youth. We are committed to expanding union construction career opportunities for women and people of color.


We believe in safeguarding tax dollars by supporting responsible contractor policies, which have been used successfully throughout the country to ensure that public contracting delivers the best value for taxpayers, levels the playing field for high-road businesses, and creates local family-sustaining jobs.


We support design-build, which is a popular and fast growing way to deliver projects of all types because it beats other delivery systems in cost, schedule, growth measures, construction and speed. Design-build can put Iowa contactors to work much sooner than other delivery methods such as construction manager at Risk (CMAR). Iowa is one of only two states that prohibit the use of design-build. 


The federal Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Act was passed in 1931 on the common-sense theory that government should not undermine wages and standards in American communities when it purchases construction services for itself. It ensures that federal contractors pay a fair wage for an honest day’s work. We believe Iowa should adopt a state prevailing wage law like neighboring states.


We strongly support the rights of workers to organize in unions. Through collective bargaining, we are creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, and making our communities strong. We also support many types of policies and programs that can be used by federal, state and local government to boost employment, such as re-building crumbling infrastructure and investments in “green” building.


The term “right to work” is a misleading description of a so-called worker protection that is really aimed to silence workers’ voice, reduce bargaining power and make jobs and economic growth more uncertain. Workers in states with so-called “right to work” laws earn less than their peers in other states. We believe Iowa’s “right to work” (for less) law should be repealed.

"The priorities of the building trades are simple. We believe in growing Iowa jobs that support working families. We believe in responsible investment in building, transportation, energy, and water infrastructure. We believe in ensuring prevailing wages, workplace safety, and other common-sense labor protections on all construction projects. We believe in developing Iowa's current and future workforce through registered apprenticeship and continued education, including supporting diversity and inclusion in the construction industry."
Andy Roberts