What is the UA?

The UA is the abbreviation for United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, AFL-CIO.
As the name implies we are members of a national and international union whose members are the most skilled and schooled pipe craftsmen the construction industry has ever known.

The United Association is composed of journeyman and apprentices in every division and facet of the plumbing and pipefitting industry. If fluid, gases or solids run through it (pipes, tubing, hoses, pumps, tanks & vessels) we have the training and knowledge to complete the installation or renovations ahead of schedule and under budget.

We are an organization with officers elected by the membership, both at the individual state local's level and the national level, the United Association is affiliated with the various departments of the AFL-CIO and the Canadian Federation of Labour. The United Association is international, having members in Canada as well as the United States.

Why Does the United Association Exist?

All unions were born of necessity. During the Industrial Revolution, working men and women were treated very unfairly. There were no child labor laws, and thousands of children-some as young as five years old-worked ten hour days and longer under oppressive conditions.

It was standard practice for employers to demand that their employees work ten hours a day, seven days a week. There were no vacations, no sick leave, no workman's compensation, no pensions and no health and safety laws. Working men, women and children had nothing to look forward to-their lives were spent working, and they worked until they died. This mirrors the working conditions and treatment of workers in many of the present day undeveloped third world countries.

In the mid-1800's the trade movement began in earnest. The United Association was officially born on October 11, 1889, when 40 delegates from 23 local unions traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the founding convention. The convention was held to ensure that workers would no longer be taken advantage of. Almost all of the benefits and protections enjoyed by American workers today are a direct result of the trade union movement.