United Association Local Union 525 was chartered on July 9, 1938 by 12 workers engaged in the same industry. These workers knew they would be stronger by standing together than trying to affect change individually.
On the day the UA granted Local 525 its Charter only nine of the original 12 members were present to sign the petition. However, the cash sheet the following month reflected all 12, as such all 12 are recognized as the Local 525’s founding fathers. Local 525’s Charter houses them under the Building Trades, as well as, Metal Trades Plumbing and Pipefitting. The birth of Local 525 coincided with the completion of the Hoover Dam when construction work in Southern Nevada slowed down, still impacted from the Great Depression. This construction lull was short-lived, however, when Southern Nevada became a major player in the United States’ defense strategy with the construction of the Basic Magnesium Plant in Henderson, Nevada.
This plant produced many of the wartime materials the nation needed for fighting. Today, this plant still produces the majority of Titanium the nation commands.
Following the end of World War II, Local 525 was heavily relied on by the federal government to build a permanent nuclear testing facility, known as the Nevada Test Site. In 1951, the Atomic Energy Commission, as it was then known, signed what became the nation’s first federal Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council. This PLA is still in effect today and has been responsible for literally millions of craft hours for the Building Trades. With the development of the continued development of Yucca Mountain Project, the Test Site will continue to provide Southern Nevada’s union workers with a solid base wage and excellent benefits for years to come.
Local 525 members have helped some of the most colorful people in gaming history development the world-renowned Las Vegas Strip. People lie Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Mo Dalitz, Meyer Lansky, Anthony “the Ant” Spilotro and famous mob lawyer turned Mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman all comprise Las Vegas’ historical tapestry. Today, the Strip’s modern-day architects are Steve Wynn, Sheldon Adelson and Kirk Kirkorian. As Las Vegas has grown, so has Local 525, with more than 2,100 members.
In 1996, Local 525 made a commitment to organizing by creating a position for a full-time organizer. Today, the local has two full-time organizers and one full-time secretary, which has enable it to organize all aspects of this industry. This commitment has resulted in an almost 50 percent increase in members over the last decade. With the unprecedented growth in Southern Nevada in recent decades and the resulting shortage of skilled labor, the Local 525 has succeeded in positioning itself as a major player in the industry. Recent gains have included the service sector, both HVAC/R, as well as, plumbing and the commercial plumbing market.
The Local 525 has been blessed with consistent and steady leadership. Under Business Manager Billy Anderson, Local 525’s members raised the commitment to organizing, purchased property and built a state-of-the-art 35,000 square-foot training facility. Also, the Michael D. McGinty Welding Shop was expanded to meet demand and constructed a brand new Union Hall to serve the members well into the future.
The Local 525 in recent years has begun the Community Action Fund. The fund helps members and their families in times of need and sponsors worthy events. An example includes the $52,500 donation to the United Association’s Katrina Relief Fund for the Brothers and Sisters of the Gulf Coast area. Lastly, Local 525 remains committed to funding its Political Action Committee and asserting itself as a player in every aspect of the political arena in Nevada.
For more information about the Local 525, visit their website at www.local525.org.