Are union companies more expensive than non-union companies?

Lima Company Quarterly Newsletter

This is a question often asked of us at Lima Company, as a matter fact someone just asked me this last week:

The question: Are union companies more expensive than non-union companies?

My answer: Lima Company is NOT more expensive; rather, Lima Company delivers best-value results.

Let us review a bit about trade unions so that we can better understand this answer.

The first truly successful national body, the United Association of Journeymen Plumbers, Gas Fitters, Steam Fitters, and Steam Fitters’ Helpers of the United States and Canada, was officially founded on October 11, 1889. That is almost 130 years ago! Their guiding mission is still their Standard of Excellence today.

In 1986, Lima Company realized the value of this mission and became a member. We pledge to maintain the highest standards of excellence which ensures the delivery of the very best-value to our clients by maintaining world-class training programs, working safely, maximizing productivity, improving workplace attitudes, and all of the other elements that set us apart from the rest.

Click on this link to view a short video: UA Standard For Excellence: Built on Excellence

So how is Lima Company actually less expensive in the end? We believe unequivocally and without doubt, that we are overall less expensive than our competitors. We refer to this as being “cheaper by design.”

“What is your hourly rate? This is the first question we are often asked when being interviewed by potential new partners. This may not be the best first question to ask a trade company.

Here are some reasons why:


  • Lima Company might have a slightly higher hourly rate than some non-union contractors
  • Lima Company will be less expensive by the job
  • Lima Company will be less expensive over the life of its completed projects
  • Lima Company will ultimately be your less expensive partner to maintain and protect your investment

Let us think this this through logically. If the following are true and we:

  • Are dedicated professionals
  • Take part in world class training programs
  • Work safely at your facilities
  • Maximize productivity on all jobs
  • Measure twice and cut only once
  • Progressively push to be the best in our fields of expertise
  • Correctly complete the task the first time with no need to return
  • Conduct ourselves as the professionals we are trained to be

Would it not stand to reason that we will perform our tasks more efficiently and effectively than our competitors, regardless of their union/non-union affiliations?

This is how we are “Cheaper by Design” and committed to stay this way!