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Your Job and 8f or Pre-Hire Agreements

Collective bargaining is the cornerstone of your wages, benefits, and working conditions. It’s your opportunity to have a representative for you and your coworkers at the table when your employer makes decisions that directly affect your life. Without a collective bargaining agreement, everything about your job would be subject to the whim of your employer.

What’s at stake with an “8f” or “Pre-Hire” agreement?

If you are a construction worker working with an employer under what’s known as an 8f agreement or pre-hire agreement, in many instances, your Local Union may be leading an effort to change your collective bargaining agreement to a permanent union agreement by voting for a 9a agreement.

Construction employers and unions can negotiate collective bargaining agreements before any workers are hired.  This kind of agreement, called a "pre hire agreement" and is how most contractors first become union.  Until they expire, pre hire contracts operate just like other collective bargaining agreements to require union wages, fringe benefits, and other conditions of employment.

However, pre-hire agreements are temporary.  When the agreement expires, prehire contractors can go completely non-union.

An 8f agreement allows an employer to walk away from negotiating with workers - including future pension contributions and the good wages and benefits that you and your union negotiated.

To protect your wages and benefits, your union may ask you to vote in a union representation election. You may be eligible to vote even if your employer laid you off.

Unless workers in a union win a secret ballot NLRB election (or the employer voluntarily agreed to be permanently union), contractors aren't obliged to continue negotiating with workers.