Pipefitters’ Local Union 533 has a rich history that dates from March 18, 1911, when it was chartered by the United Association. We recognize that the pride and strength of our organization lies in the skills and knowledge of our approximately 1,500 members, a brotherhood of men and women who strive for excellence in their chosen craft. Local 533 is led by a group of Officers who are elected by the membership, and is affiliated with the United Association, one of the most respected and influential building trades unions in the U.S. and Canada.
Pipefitters in Kansas City have enjoyed growth in professional knowledge, membership and strength through unity. Our mission at Pipefitters Local 533 is to give our members a quality of life characterized by respect and economic security, through promoting and representing the interests of all working people within our jurisdiction in the piping industry.
We are very proud of our Kansas City home, built by local labor and paid for by local labor. In 1978, construction began on our 16,500 sq. ft. Hall, built in partnership with Plumbers Local 8, on 5.5 acres of prime Kansas City real estate.
Local 533 has always been aggressive in adapting to change and in the mastery of our trade, which has continued to evolve year after year. Over time, the tools of our trade have grown from a few simple hand tools to complex machines, gauges, and computerized equipment. In the 1930's, the United Association started the first nationally recognized Apprenticeship Program, and Local 533 started its Apprenticeship Program in the late 1940's, which is recognized by the Department of Labor, through the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. This Program is administered by the Joint Apprenticeship Committee, comprised of Union officials and Contractors.
Our Local strives to stay on the forefront of training and our Apprenticeship and Journeyman Training Programs are state-of-the-art, insuring that the union Pipefitter is the best qualified and the best trained service and construction Pipefitter on the job. Beyond attending a rigorous five-year classroom program, our Pipefitter Apprentices are trained in the field by skilled tradespeople and the contractors who employed them. The competition in today's market requires skilled workers to ensure a job is done on time and under budget the first time. It's not just about filling the position or obtaining the lowest bid anymore — it is about hiring an asset for the company.
A full-time Organizer heads Local 533's organizing efforts. Local 533 is constantly looking for and recruiting skilled workers from the non-union sector to sharpen our competitive edge in the construction and service markets.
Currently, Local 533 has agreements with four different employer groups, representing more than 100 local contractors. In 1959, the Mechanical Contractors Association of Kansas City and Local 533 agreed to start an Industry Development Fund, the purpose of which was to promote the good and welfare of the industry. Since its inception in 1987, we have also helped contractor employers through our Job Targeting Program, fully funded by our members, which has enabled signatory contractors to be competitive with non-union contractors.