Benefits to being signatory with Sheet Metal Workers Local #55

Don’t let manpower shortages or the lack of skilled workers; reduce profits, kill job site schedules & incur overtime expense. Here are just some of the benefits of partnering with Sheet Metal Workers #55.

non-union contractorSkilled Labor: Access to skilled tradesmen including foremen and lead personnel

Apprenticeship: Access to State and Federally approved Apprentices (allows blended cost saving crew rate)

Growth & Development: Apprenticeship grows your team from within; training in HVAC, Service, Welding, General S/M

Geographic Coverage: Access to skilled workers locally, regionally & nationally

Drug Tested: Local #55 dispatched workers are drug tested

Flexible Hiring: Ability to ramp hiring up and down as needed (Frees you from carrying extra employees in slow times)

Human Resource Functions: Local #55 & Benefit Administrator takes care of your Human Resource needs; Saves you time, resources and overhead searching want ads for skilled workers, Health Care, 401k and other benefits are administrated for you.

Employee Retention: A worker will not leave your employment to earn another $1.00 per hour at a competitor.

Industry Segment: Workers for Building & Industrial Construction, Light Commercial & Residential

Training: for both Apprentices and Journeymen including: Foremen Training, Welding, Safety, Architectural Sheet Metal, Crane & Rigging, BIM, Service and Layout Fabrication.

Welding Training: Access to our WABO & AWS weld testing and certification at our Training facility

Professional Training

Professional Organization

Partnership: A Partner in the Sheet Metal/HVAC Industry for mutual success

Risk Management: If your business relies on 1 or 2 key personal for field or fabrication completion; signing with Local #55 greatly reduces your risk from this “single point of failure” should your key employee/s: leave, retire, relocate or experience health related issues.


Frequently Asked Questions & Answers


laser cutting2Q:
If I hire a union worker; I am stuck with he/she forever?

A: The employer can lay off any dispatched worker at any time.


Q: Do I have to lay off in reverse order of whom I have hired to comply with seniority?

A: The employer can lay off any dispatched worker at any time. There is no seniority in construction contracts.


Q: If I call for man power the union will send me workers off the list even though I want a specific worker who was worked for me before.

A: Local #55 does not have a closed list, members have open solicitation for work at various shops. Likewise contractors can call Journeymen by name or by skill and qualification off of the out of work list.


Q: Do I have no say in the contract the union dictates my business?

A: Contracts are bargained in good faith generally every three years. Contractors exercise their rights in bargaining a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Working in partnership with our employers, Local #55 has a long history settling contracts that are fair and competitive.


Q: If something goes wrong or the contract expires all my workers will strike.

A: The CBA has straight forward grievance procedure included. It also includes a No Strike/No Lockout clause that protects both labor and management.


Q: I don’t think I can be profitable being a union contractor.

A: Our signatory contractors have a long history of being profitable and operating for several years and/or decades. And we continue to sign new shops growing our segment of the industry


Q: Are there any other benefits as a union contractor?

A: As a signatory contractor you can belong to the Sheet Metal Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA) which offers contractors a wide array of technical and business based training, materials and classes. Please contact Inland NW SMACNA for more information.


Q: I currently bid light commercial work. If I do sign with the union won’t I be priced out of the market?

A: Local #55 and our contractors have negotiated several wage rates that allow for shops to be competitive in Light Commercial, Residential as well as Commercial Construction. We have Three (3) contractual areas that are tailored to each market: Tri-Cities, WA, Spokane, WA, & Boise, Idaho.


Q: I have heard the Business Representative will be at my shop each day disrupting operations.

A: The Union Business Representative is called by workers occasionally to answer questions that may arise from time to time, most issues are resolved quickly just by listening and interpreting the contract. The Business Representative may simply stop by to make announcements for meetings or events. The Business Agent is also an asset for the employer by answering contract questions before an issue arises and works diligently with the employer to get qualified workers dispatched timely.


Q: I already have employees. If I sign with local #55 what will happen to them? Will I be forced to lay them off?

A: Local #55 will welcome your current employees as part of our team and union. We will work with you and your employees to identify the right classification that represents their skill and pay level. We will work tirelessly to see each worker establishes a proper and fulfilling career path.


Q: If I sign with the union will I been overwhelmed with paper work each month?

A: Each dispatched worker comes with a “Dispatch” that reflects the appropriate wage and benefit package for you bookkeeper. Monthly benefits are submitted electronically to the third party administrator which is a streamline process.


Q: I have heard that Local #55 will assist Contractors in obtaining work?

A: Yes, we do and a Local #55 Business Representative can explain in greater detail per area.


Q: Can I call to get more information confidentially? Without being hassled or pressured?

A: Yes, please feel free to call one of Business Representatives or Organizers for more information. Many of our shops were signed after several question and answer periods over time. It takes time to develop trust necessary for any partnership. A partnership with Local #55 is a serious move for you and your business. Your success and profitability are important to us as a preferred vendor of skilled labor and training.