loanim802.GIF (11821 bytes)Local Union No. 392
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Plumbers, pipejoin-motion1-w.gif (27517 bytes)Pipefitters & dial15[1].gif (4407 bytes)Mechanical Equipment Service

FRIDAY, APRIL 13th - NEXT UNION MEETING STARTS @ 7:00 PM @ the LOCAL 392 Union Hall, 1228 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202 (lower level)   

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A Brief History  Local 392 Building.JPG (44477 bytes)
Local Union
No. 392

The dawn of the twentieth century brought with it the growing pains of expanding trade unions. The working man was finding strength in unity and a powerful voice in determining his own future. His cry for fair treatment and fair wage for fair labor.


The Steamfitters of Cincinnati were early members of the International Association of Steam, Hot Water, and Power Pipefitters and Steamfitters Helpers Local Union #53. Meanwhile; throughout the Country the United Association of Journeymen Plumbers, Gas Fitters, Steamfitter Helpers of the United States and Canada, the U.A., was emerging as the more powerful voice in the industry. In 1907, another Steamfitter Local Union surfaced in Cincinnati as Local #392, and began efforts to bring all the Steamfitters in the area under the influence of the U.A.

After five years of organizational efforts a merger was negotiated, and the U.A. Local #392, as it is know today, was born. The Charter was dated October 5, 1912.

This young local offered benefits: a $100.00 death benefit, $5.00 per week sick benefit, $5.00 per week Strike and lockout benefit, and a 521/2 cents per hour pay scale for a 48 hour week, $25.40 per week.


The labor movement is a continuing struggle for growth and improvement. Occasionally the struggle falls within the movement. In 1922, a new trade-line agreement was signed in a effort to stabilize relation in the plumbing and steamfitting industry

The 1926 agreement eliminated helpers and initiated the apprenticeship program. The first class began in 1927. The "27 Club" marked the start of an ongoing effort to build on the education and to grow on expanding the abilities of skilled craftsmen.


By 1930 wages reached $1.40 per hour, and a 40 hour work week was negotiated. A depression saw falling wagesl $1.12-1/2 per hour by 1933. These years also brought some landmark labor laws including the Davis Bacon and Unemployment Acts.

Maintenance agreements were established at Schenley and Seagrams Distilleries in 1937. These contracts created a new area for organizational efforts by Local Union #392, in the metal trades division.


The 1940's sent the Country to war and demanded instant industrial growth. The renewed industrial growth created need for a new look at jurisdiction. On Feb. 7, 1941, Local #392 was awarded jurisdiction over all refrigeration work through the W.P. Carrol decision. The National Convention of 1946 adopted the Dr. Lapps decision of 1944 establishing the current jurisdictional lines.

The Local always offered a hand to its members in need through the efforts of a relief committee. In 1944 an official Welfare Board was created.

May 19, 1944 Steamfitter No.392 became Pipefitters No. 392.

In 1947, wages reach $2.00 per hour.

The charter for Pipe Trades district No. 2 was issued January 2, 1947.

Late in the 40's the Government adopted the Wage Stabilization Board, and put a freeze on wages. Increased could be put into benefits. Creative Bargaining took a 7.5 cent an hour increase and started the Health and Welfare Fund.


The movement in the years to follow was toward benefits for the members. The hiring hall was brought into existence in 1959. On June 1, 1959 a vacation fund was negotiated into the contract. In 1961, a Pension Fund was adopted. The 1968 Supplemental Unemployment Fund eased the pressure of slow times in the construction field.


Local #392 expanded its influence once more in 1969, with the establishment of a Mechanical Equipment Service Division. Great inroads have been made in the refrigeration service area, bringing union craftsmen into many business earlier considered non-union territory. Intensified training insures the future of this branch of work.

Training in all areas was to be the key to future success. Farsighted men of Local #392 gave personal time and efforts to construct an outstanding training center where education could be geared to the piping industry only. The Pipefitters School was opened in 1967, and expanded in 1982, to provide larger facilities for the growing Mechanical Equipment Service Division.

The early offices of Local #392 were on 12th Street in a storefront room serving all the Building Trade Agents. Office moved around the town from one cramped space to another; until in 1969, the pipefitters of Cincinnati purchased the Building at 1228 Central Parkway. Local #392 has recently remodeled the building and modernized its mechanical system. The Building houses all of the Union Funds. The latest tenant moved in during 1982, with the institution of a Credit Union.

The First Issue of the Local's Newsletter"#392 Revue" was published in 1984. The headlines read "Invest in Our Future." This headline offers an insight into the motivation for men and women who gave so much of their time to the building of an organization not suppressed by self interest but advanced to the spirit of union.

On to the future