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Boh Bros. Construction Company

boh-logo_082906_095453.jpg This regionally-renowned, New Orleans-based industrial and heavy construction contractor partners with its workers to rebuild its hometown and the lives of its employees.

In Partnership With: IBT, IUOE, IW, LIUNA, OPCMIA, UBC

Working together to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina

At a Glance

Boh Bros. Construction Company was founded in 1909 by Arthur Boh.   As one of the top industrial and heavy construction contractors in the Southeast, Boh Bros has been building, and more recently re-building, in New Orleans and Louisiana.

Headquarters
New Orleans, LA

Website
www.bohbros.com

Industry
Construction

Union Employees
1,000 construction workers

Total Employees
1,250

Annual Revenues
$275 million

Outlets
AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, TN, and TX

Customers

Several hundred client projects per year

It comes as no surprise to the managers and employees of Boh Bros. Construction Company that that their company is at the forefront of efforts to rebuild their hometown, New Orleans, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  By recognizing and honoring their dependence on each other in the best and worst of times, Boh Bros., its employees, and the unions that represent them are rewriting labor-management models and safety standards in the construction industry.

Touted by The Times Picayune as “one of the most significant local businesses in the reconstruction effort,” Boh Bros. has won well over a half billion dollars in high-profile, competitive-bid contracts to reconstruct canal floodgates, rebuild the Twin Span Bridge, and repair the electrical system powering the famous St. Charles Avenue streetcars.  And in the year since the hurricane, Boh Bros. has maintained its reputation of completing projects under cost and on time, if not sooner.

The secret to Boh Bros.’ success?  Both management and union-represented employees agree that partnership and mutual respect are key ingredients.  The company and unions work together in committees to set goals and address concerns.  Says Barry Kaufman of the Laborers International Union of North America Local 689, “We’ve had a relationship with Boh for so long that they see us as part of the solution and not the problem.  That is how we are often approached by management when they ask our opinion to solve issues.”

In an industry known for high rates of injury, Boh Bros. has worked with its employees’ unions to develop safety policies, guidelines, and training programs.  As a result, Boh Bros. has been recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for its exemplary safety record.

“Boh Bros. has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial working relationship with construction unions in South Louisiana,” says President Robert S. Boh.  “We look forward to continuing this partnership as we rebuild the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina.”

Boh and its workers’ union shared a common vision after Hurricane Katrina hit: to get workers back on their feet and back to work.  Boh Bros. voluntarily raised wages three months in advance of union contract renegotiations and encouraged all current and former employees to return to work.  Union officials and representatives visited shelters to find union members and their families.  In the storm’s aftermath, the company helped displaced employees.  As Willy Gibson, a veteran Boh Bros. employee, explains, “The company supported a lot of guys.  They provided housing and gave them three meals a day until they could provide for themselves.” 

Boh’s achievements prove that investing in your workforce, even in the face of unimaginable crisis, is a winning strategy in labor-management relations and corporate citizenship.

 
Selection Criteria

> Free and fair choice to form a union

> Collaborating as equal partners with workers and their unions to craft innovative strategies on compensation, performance, and productivity to meet business goals and address challenges

> Providing sustainable wages or progressive increases and worker-friendly benefits

> Creating new jobs and implementing
employee retention strategies

> Protecting workers’ safety and health  

> Offering training and professional
development opportunities

> Contributing positively to the broader
community