The recent signing of a district-wide flooring collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the entire UBC Southern District is producing positive results in Florida. The CBA is the first floorcovering agreement of its kind that stabilizes wages, benefits and conditions across the Southern District.
Laying the foundation for the CBA was the Florida Carpenters Regional Council (FLCRC) and globally successful union contractor, Mr. David’s Flooring International. When Mr. David’s sought to open a new branch in the southeast so that it could enter Florida’s booming construction market, management discovered that the labor pool was undertrained. They partnered with the FLCRC and utilized the strengths of the INSTALL program to bring the workforce skills up to the level of quality that Mr. David’s expects.
“About 99% of the labor pool in Florida are subcontractors that operate on a low-quality standard,” said Tony Troehler, president of Mr. David’s SE LLC. “Knowing the lack of trained installers prior to beginning work, we set the expectations that we needed to elevate the marketplace to allow us to work there. Pairing-up with the FLCRC to host INSTALL training in Florida was a match made in heaven for us. Mr. David’s is known for its high quality brand and INSTALL’s entire program is based on producing quality people. Our interests truly fit hand in glove.”
The Agreement also addresses the challenge of recruiting installers and establishing INSTALL training to meet the contractors’ needs. Florida carpenters now have access to regular INSTALL training.
Mr. David’s is now a regular union employer in Florida, with dozens of members working for the company daily. It recently completed an installation at the Kennedy Space Center, which required highly skilled flooring professionals that only the UBC was able to provide. The project achieved national attention in the interior design community.
Mr. David’s is also expanding union market share into the healthcare sector, by completing work at various Veterans Administration hospitals around the state.
Entering the healthcare market is being complemented by the FLCRC’s ICRA Construction Healthcare program, which trains carpenters specifically for skills needed at the intricate, complicated jobsites of occupied healthcare facilities. Recently, Florida’s INSTALL and ICRA programs teamed to speak with more than 100 healthcare designers, architects and infection control personnel at the Design Connections Healthcare Conference.
“That meeting put us face to face with many decision makers for healthcare designs,” said FLCRC’s EST, James Banks. “As a result, we were able to create relationships with design firms and provide crucial information that illustrates why using INSTALL- and ICRA-trained Florida union carpenters on their project is a smart and safe business decision.”
UBC Southern District Vice President Dennis Donahou recognized INSTALL’s success and steady growth as a promising opportunity for the entire Southern District, given its proven success despite challenging market conditions in Florida.
“We saw an opportunity to increase our market share in the southern flooring installation industry, and this collective bargaining agreement provides the platform to get the job done,” Donahou said. “It simplifies the conditions and mobility for UBC contractors, so that they can compete across the Southern District. That, in turn, will increase union members, and increase work hours.”
EST Banks added: “Establishing this CBA has provided a tremendous opportunity for Florida and the whole Southern District, and we are getting work now that we haven’t had in years. I strongly believe what we started here in Florida to increase market share will be successfully and quickly carried throughout the Southern District.”
With this agreement, the landscape is changed for contractors, installers, and customers alike:
By growing its membership base throughout Florida and the rest of the South this past year, INSTALL is positioned to bring even more contractors into the program. Recently, INSTALL set a goal of establishing at least six new Southern INSTALL contractors in 2018.
About INSTALLINSTALL is an alliance of major flooring manufacturers, contractors and professional installers across the U.S. and Canada. It consists of a comprehensive training and certification program for its floor covering installers, and a marketing program for its alliance members. Certifications and trainings are based on the direction and continued review of floor covering mills and manufactures making it the most endorsed and recommended training programs in the industry. With a demonstrated commitment to quality installation, INSTALL provides the only additional, extended, free, non-proprietary and third-party installation warranty on labor of $25,000 and two years. Learn more about the INSTALL Warranty on Labor program at www.installfloors.org/warranty. For more information on INSTALL, visit www.installfloors.org.