Cornell University

Catherwood Library

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Question of the Month

From the Catherwood Library reference librarians

August 2006

PLEASE NOTE: The Reference Question of the Month is kept current only during the month for which it was written. Archived questions will not be updated, and over time may contain inaccurate information or broken web links. We provide archived questions as a service, since much of the information will remain accurate and of continued interest to the ILR community.

Question: Can I find current collective bargaining agreements (labor contracts) on the Internet?


This Reference Question of the Month has been revised and updated!  See NEWer answer, Reference Question of the Month, JULY 2009!!!


Private Sector. Most private sector collective bargaining agreements are not publicly available on the Internet. Occasionally, though, a union or employer will post its contract.

Search Strategies. Try these searches with you favorite search engine:

“collective bargaining agreement” OR master agreement union

Some search engines have an “Advanced Search” option that you can use to specify the .pdf format. This is helpful because full text documents on the web are often in this format.

If you are interested in a particular union or employer, add it to the search:

“collective bargaining agreement” ALCOA

Public Sector. Public sector agreements are more often retrievable through Internet searches. Try the search strategy above or go directly to the union's or public employer's web site.

Here are some examples of collective bargaining agreements from these sources:

NYS Governor's Office of Employee Relations, Labor Relations Section
Current NY public employee collective bargaining agreements are available through the Bargaining Units Center.

American Postal Workers Union, Collective Bargaining Agreements
The APWU has current and recent National Agreements and Support Service Contracts posted on its website.

Contract Databases and Web Guides. Donna Schulman, the librarian for the Cornell Lenz Library (ILR) in New York City, has compiled an extensive listing of contracts she found on the web. See the “Collective Bargaining Agreements Online” chapter in Labor & Collective Bargaining: Best Internet Sites for Research & Practice.

The Institute of Industrial Relations Library at U.C. Berkeley compiled a Labor Contracts Database from collective bargaining agreements found on the web. Use the database to search by state, union, or occupation. Most of the contracts in the database are from the public sector.

Canadian public and private sector contracts are available from the government web site, Negotech . Search the “collective agreements” section to find important agreements between unions and Canadian employers.

Order full text contracts. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains a file of U. S. public and private sector collective bargaining agreements as authorized by the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 (Taft-Hartley Act) Section 211 (a). See: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Collective Bargaining Agreements File for a listing of and links to the contracts available.

BNAPlus, a fee-based service offered by BNA publications,has a collection of approximately 5,000 private and public sector contracts includes both large and small employers. Most contracts are available for $125, but UAW Master Contracts with Ford, GM, and Chrysler are currently $375.

Catherwood Library. The Kheel Center has recently obtained an extensive collection of historical collective bargaining agreements from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. See the Guides of the Kheel Center and scroll to United States. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics Collective Bargaining Agreements for detailed listings of the unions, companies, and industries that are part of the collection. In addition, the Kheel Center has a comprehensive collection of NY State public employment agreements from the enactment of the Taylor Law in 1969 until recent years. The Center also has a small collection of current contracts.

The Kheel Center does not provide web access to these collective bargaining agreements. Check with Kheel Center staff regarding availability of the contract collections. 

— Researched by Susan LaCette