History of Local 23

On December 22, 1898, Plumbers, Gasfitters, Steamfitters, and Steamfitters Helpers requested a charter be issued by the United Association.  On January 1, 1899, the United Association granted Local 57 a charter.

On April 5, 1902, Local Union 328 Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Gas Fitters was chartered in Freeport, IL.

In 1915 thirteen members of Local Union 57 petitioned the United Association to form a separate Steamfitters and Steamfitters Helpers Local.  On September 25, 1915, Local Union 210 was chartered.  September 1, 1948, Local Union 57 and 210 merged to form Local Union 23, Rockford, IL.

On January 1, 1970, Local Union 328, Freeport, IL merged with Local Union 23, Rockford, IL.  Joe Gillespie was the Business Representative for Local Union 328 when the merger took place.

Local 23 first opened their office at the Labor Temple at 212 South First Street in Rockford, IL. In the mid-60’s the office was moved to 325 Market Street where they shared the facility with the contractors association.  The Market Street facility allowed Local 23 to set up a showroom with various plumbing fixtures.  In 1980 the membership decided they wanted their own building and moved to 4623 Boeing Drive.  June 1, 1999, the Local moved into their newly constructed building at 4525 Boeing Drive, Rockford, IL.  Since that time, the building has expanded with two new additions.

Local 23’s membership has grown steadily over the past 62 years from 118 members in 1949 to our current membership of 778.  At this time we have 237 retired members, 31 of those have reached the milestone of 50 years or more of service to the United Association and have earned the honorable status of Life member.

The wage scale paid in 1915 of $5.50 per day has increased to a total benefit package of over $80.00 per hour.

The Local Health & Welfare Fund started in 1956 with a contribution rate of $.15 per hour.  The plan has continued to grow and improve throughout the years. The plan now includes coverage for medical, vision, dental, orthodontics, prescription drugs, disability compensation, and Life Insurance.  A Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) was established on June 1, 2005.  The account allows participants to be reimbursed for a wide range of medical expenses.

Additionally, programs such as ERS (provides confidential assistance, supportive counseling, and resources), Health Screenings, and annual flu vaccinations are a few more services our covered members have recently received.

Local 23’s Pension Plan started in 1966 at a contribution rate of $.15 per hour.  This plan has also continued to grow and improve over time.  A 401(k) fund was implemented on February 1, 1999, allowing participants to further increase their retirement nest egg.

The Local 23 Journeyman and Apprentice Training Fund teaches valuable skills that provide certifications to our Journeymen and Apprentices that they take with them to job sites in order to supply the Owners and Contractors the highly trained Tradespersons that they deserve and demand.

Since 1948, the following members have served as Business Representatives for Local Union 23:  Harry Shaw, William Finnan, Phenie Petta Sr., Lyle Sellers, Rudy Ammon, Art Schiavo, Earl Baker, Bob Bruski, Raymond Knutson, Ted Hartman, Noel Easton, Darryll Russell, Bob Hastings Jr., Rick Beck, Domenic Alfano, Tim Huff, Bob Wooden, Ryan Tracey, and Ryan Marshall.