United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters
Three Park Place
Annapolis, MD 21401
The United Association is led by a group of General Officers who are elected by locally elected delegates at a convention held every five years. The General Office has five separate departments: Jurisdiction, Organizing, Training, Legislative, and Safety. The General Officers of the United Association are represented by the General President, Assistant General President, General Secretary-Treasurer, members of the General Executive Board, and International Representatives.
The local unions are located in all of the 50 states of America and every province of Canada.
HVACR Service Technician
William P. Hite, President
William P. Hite serves as General President of the United Association. Previously, he served as Assistant General President from 2001-2004 and has been a UA member for 42 years.
He was elected as a Delegate to his first UA Convention in 1981. In 1983, he was elected in his local union as a Delegate to the Chicago Federation of Labor, and in 1986, he was elected Business Agent of Local 597.
In 1993, he was appointed Assistant Business Manager. He became Financial Secretary-Treasurer of Local 597 while still holding the appointed position of Assistant Business Manager. At the 1996 UA Convention, he was elected International Representative and was assigned to serve Illinois and portions of Indiana.
In June 1999, he was appointed as Administrative Assistant to the General President. Then at the 2001 Convention, he was elected Assistant General President. He spent four years in that position. On December 1, 2004, he was elected General President.
Stephen F. Kelly, Assistant General President
Mark McManus, General Secretary-Treasurer
John Telfod, Director of Canada Affairs, UA International Vice President
*Full bios unavailable for this union
The United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters has shown a high level of involvement in the environmental movement. The union’s Green Initiative is broadly advertised on its homepage, the union has created a green training program, and it has formed international partnerships on the basis of sustainability. The UA Training Department programs “proudly graduate ‘knowledge workers’ with technology skills plus hands-on skills and Associate Degrees in Construction Supervision and Sustainable Technology ─ with majors in Plumbing, Pipefitting, Sprinkler Fitting or HVACR.”
UA also created the nation’s first union “sustainability office” in the country, which is developing three new “green” craft-specific certifications: Green Plumbing/Pipefitting, Green Sprinkler Fitting, and Green Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR). UA has also been driving a “Green Systems Training Trailer” around the country to educate members and the general public about the importance of energy efficiency. For the past three years the union has equipped instructors to certify its members in “Green Systems Awareness.” UA has gone so far as to open the program to both its Employer Partners and the general public. The union’s desire to bring the facts about “green systems” to the masses certainly reveals its dedication to environmental consciousness.
Significantly, the UA conceptualizes its members’ work as part of a larger movement. From its Green Commitment, the UA writes “the design and installation of sustainable water and energy systems in our buildings and homes are just the starting point of energy efficiency and sustainability. If a building or home is to remain “green over time,” it must be maintained and serviced by workers who feel ownership in the Green Building Movement.” It follows that the union boasts,“UA pipe trades industry workers are the heart, lungs, brain, and circulatory system of the Green Building Movement.” President Hite says that the UA believes “[their] commitment to this initiative does not stop once a building has been built or renovated, but throughout the entire life cycle of the building and we are ensuring that our workers have the training to complete this.”
Since the UA joined the BlueGreen Alliance in October 2011, the union has expanded its efforts to protect the planet. For example, the UA announced a joint effort with the Australia’s Plumbing Trades Employee Union (PTEU) to streamline the building industry, reduce the shortage of skilled workers, and fight climate change in August 2012. The UA followed up the decision with a white paper called Uniting for a Greener planet. Local 400 also recently teamed up with the Green Bay School Districts to cut down on energy usage.
Along with many of the Building Trade Unions, the UA has come out in support of the Keystone Pipeline. According to President Hite, “the United States needs energy security. Americans need heat for their houses and gas to get to work every day. Although we are making strides in developing alternative sources of energy, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports the U.S. will be dependent on oil for many decades to come…Recent history underscores the difficulty of relying on politically unstable regions as dependable oil sources. The Keystone XL Pipeline guarantees a steady supply of oil from Canada, one of our most steadfast allies.” With the release of a controversial State Department study declaring the pipeline’s minimal environmental risk, the building trades reiterated their hopes that Obama endorse the pipeline and create new jobs. Many of those jobs would go to UA members.
Green Employment Prospects
There are many jobs to be had in all processes of building, from creating sustainable foundations to restoring old building for greener use.
The UA has prioritized the restoration of America’s water infrastructure. According to the Alliance for American Manufacturing, “every $1 billion spent in water infrastructure improvements creates nearly 20,000 jobs. The UA supports reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act, as well as continued and increased funding for water infrastructure programs to…boost job creation.”
Appendix 1: Green Training Programs
With new equipment and technology being utilized in the movement towards a more sustainable environment, an evolving skill set is beneficial to those working in the field. As such, the UA has developed various sustainable technology and green training programs to assist our membership in preparing for the future. Some of these programs are:
- Green Systems Awareness Certification Program
- Energy Audit Retrofit Class and Training
- Geothermal Installations, including 3rd Party Independent Certification
- Installation and Operation of Heat Pumps
- Variable Frequency Drive Training
- Air and Water Balancing and Analysis
- Operating Mobile Green Training Trailers
- Sustainable Technology Associates Degree with Washtenaw Community College
- Green-Chill Supermarket Refrigeration
- Combustion Equipment and Safety- Focus on High Efficiency Boilers
- BIM- Building Information Modeling