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  1. #1
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    union vs non-union

    Hey guys,

    I'm trying to understand the cost difference between hiring a union workers VS non-union.
    In reference to HVAC installation, is it 2x more? 3x more?
    I know I can't discuss pricing, but just trying to get an idea for an estimate.

    Any info would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    You can expect union work to be top notch all the way, you typically don't see hack work, that being said ( as an ex union fitter) our non union work parallels what you will see in a union shop

    You have to weed out the hacks in the non union world where as the UA has done that leg work

  3. #3
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks Ikapigian, in terms of cost, what am I looking at? 2x increase, 3x increase for Union?

  4. #4
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    Cant discuss pricing , but I am frequently more than a union shop

    Pricing is not always an indicator,but you can usually bet that when someone is the fraction the cost of another, they have left something on the table
    and the end user is the one that loses out

  5. #5
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks Ikapigian,
    I've been meeting with several developers and they all seem to express union workers charge 3x or more compared to non-union shops. So they rather not go the union route.
    I just wasn't sure how accurate that information was.

  6. #6
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    Developers want to pad the bottom line, theirs......

    you can always shop it both ways and not go one route only based upon an assumption

    spend it upfront or pay it in the end with headaches

  7. #7
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    Pricing depends on what the specific contractor charges. Sometimes a union contsctor can be cheaper than non union and sometimes more. Depends on the job specifics and how many guys they are going to have working on it.

    Saying for HVAC installation is kind of broad. You talking about a little 3 ton package unit or like a 15 ton air handler with two 7.5 ton condensing units serving a IV compounding room? Different jobs that require different levels of expertise and manpower.

    I know my shop is sometimes too expensive for some of our smaller customers to afford but we will still maintain the unit. Also some companies specialize in certain things. Like my shop installs and maintains alot of server room units in high rises. Which apparently many companies wont touch and means theres a bit of a premium attached based on the difficulty of the installation.

    So it's kinda hard to say how a non union and union shops pricing would compare for the same job. Get a couple different bids and have them break it down for you.

  8. #8
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks guys, I appreciate the input.
    The job being specified is an install for over 400 FCU

  9. #9
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    3X more?...if that is the case the non-union shops are using unskilled and uneducated labour.

    I have worked for both. The shortage of qualified techs is so bad that any non-union company worth its salt is matching or exceeding union pay scale to keep quality employees. They then have to charge out at similar rates.

    Sorry but you will be in for a world of problems hiring companies at 1/2 to 1/3 the going rate.
    Quote Originally Posted by startupTED View Post
    Thanks Ikapigian,
    I've been meeting with several developers and they all seem to express union workers charge 3x or more compared to non-union shops. So they rather not go the union route.
    I just wasn't sure how accurate that information was.
    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

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  11. #10
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for that info BALloyd. Good to know the Union isn't the all and mighty in every case.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BALloyd View Post
    3X more?...if that is the case the non-union shops are using unskilled and uneducated labour.

    I have worked for both. The shortage of qualified techs is so bad that any non-union company worth its salt is matching or exceeding union pay scale to keep quality employees. They then have to charge out at similar rates.

    Sorry but you will be in for a world of problems hiring companies at 1/2 to 1/3 the going rate.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
    Around here some non-union shops are adverting $5 hr. over union pay scale, we (union techs) still make more because the benefit package.
    Most non-union shop don't have the manpower to take large commercial-industrial jobs.
    There is not better place for the working men than the union! 100% UA the only HVAC union!

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by startupTED View Post
    Thanks for that info BALloyd. Good to know the Union isn't the all and mighty in every case.
    You get what you pay for and sometimes less, the old saying .....skilled labor isn't cheap and cheap labor isn't skilled
    There is not better place for the working men than the union! 100% UA the only HVAC union!

  14. #13
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    Are you referring to Installation as in Residential HVAC or as in true Construction? Here in AZ, there are no UA Shops doing Resi HVAC install and only a few SMW Shops doing it. The UA Shops here are predominantly MP that focus on Construction. Pueblo Mechanical, a large locally owned non-union Shop has recently acquired 5 other companies recently. They're claiming over 600 workers now.

    Sent using Tapatalk Pro

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