Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

Contractors Learn Basics of Bargaining

shutterstock_1350886016Contractors and chapter executives discussed how to prepare for the bargaining season and issues they would be likely to encounter at the bargaining table during SMACNA’s 2019 Collective Bargaining Orientation in Dallas, Texas, in March. About 30 SMACNA chapters are entering negotiations this year for new collective bargaining agreements.

In addition to discussing current issues in bargaining, Tom Keating, SMACNA National’s support representative and retired chapter executive of SMACNA Colorado, offered guidance on preparing for bargaining, demonstrated how to use research to support negotiating positions and shared industry data on evaluating the local industry and economy.

Carey Peters, executive director of the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC), led a discussion on SMACNA’s current employment share numbers. He also explained the specific methodology that the CLRC uses to compare union worker numbers to total employment in the industry.

SMACNA legal counsel Michael McNally of Felhaber Larson led an in-depth overview of the legal framework for bargaining and how to prepare for impasse, should that possibly occur.

Deborah Wyandt, Esq., SMACNA’s executive director of labor relations, led a panel discussion on how to handle challenging negotiations with several seasoned chapter executives who have been through several bargaining seasons.

Panelists included Kim Best, executive vice president of the Sheet Metal Contractors of Iowa; Jim Bigham, director of labor relations of SMARCA of Minnesota - North Dakota - South Dakota; John Quarnstrom, executive director of SMARCA of Minnesota - North Dakota - South Dakota; and John Ferrante, associate executive director of SMACNA Boston.

The latest employment share numbers were distributed to chapters in January. For a copy of their area numbers, members should contact Jason Watson, SMACNA’s director of labor relations at

To learn more, members may download materials from the 2019 Collective Bargaining Orientation on the Presentations and Reports section of SMACNA’s Labor Relations web page.