Featured SWPTA Local Union: Plumbers Local 68 fights for its members

Southwest Pipe Trades UA Union Local 68 Houston, Texas

Over the course of nearly 130 years, Plumbers Local 68 has learned one crucial lesson: Its members are stronger when united.

Local 68 is a Brotherhood and Sisterhood. Unity not only brings them together — it gives them the strength to fight for a better life for their members and families.

Local 68 has consistently advocated for its members, fighting for higher wages, full health care coverage and great retirement benefits.

The Union advocates for the rights and safe working conditions for plumbers in the areas of Houston, Galveston, Beaumont, Bryan, College Station, Victoria, Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley.

 

The evolution of Local 68

Like any family, the Union has certainly had its ups and downs. The Local launched with seven founding members in 1892. By 1924, it had grown to 125 members and 218 members by 1929. And then economic disaster struck: the stock market crashed and ushered in the Great Depression. The Local 68 Ladies Auxiliary worked hard to help the families laid off by the worst economic disaster in our nation’s history.

Following internal disputes, the Local rebounded, doubling membership in the 1960s. Members began the tradition of an annual Christmas party, an event that continues to this day.

By 1975, its membership grew to almost 1,500 with the merger of Local 567’s plumbers from the Bryan-College Station area. Today, it stands at over 1,700 tradesmen and tradeswomen who have dedicated their lives to building the hospitals, schools, shopping centers, airports and homes that form the backbone of Houston.

 

Union workers needed for Houston construction boom

In the face of the Texas real estate boom, an organized network of qualified, skilled plumbers comes in handy. Signatory union contractors know a job will be done on time, at or under budget, to an exceptionally high standard of quality with a union workforce.

To meet Texas’ ever growing labor demand, UA Local 68 is expanding, actively recruiting new members and apprentices to its ranks.

Local 68 was proud to launch a $3.5 million Training Center expansion to accommodate over 600 apprentices. Not only is apprenticeship training free, but it can be applied toward college credit hours. The training center also provides several journeyman courses as well.

Union apprentices enjoy the benefits of the Union from day one — including family supporting wages, full health coverage and quality retirement benefits. They earn while they learn, as wages gradually increase while progressing through the program. Upon completion of the five-year program, they top out as journeymen with all the rights and privileges of the trade.

 

Are you interested in joining UA Local 68? Contact us today!

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