Local 502 History

The history of U.A. Local 502 extends for over 100 years of serving Central Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Local 502 was the result of the merger by the United Association of Plumbers Local 107 and Pipefitters Local 522 in 2003.

Local 107 origins began in May 1893, when 16 members requested from the U.A. and were granted a charter  titled “Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 107.”  Before Local 107 was organized, wages ranged from $1.50 to $3.00 a day, with a day of work ranging from 10 to 12 hours a day.  Prior to the merger, Local 107 grew from its original 16 members to a membership of over 500.

Local 107 established an Apprenticeship Program in 1954 in accordance with the Federal Apprenticeship  Bureau and the U.A. Apprenticeship Program.  Also in 1954, Local 107 began a Health and Welfare plan for its members, and in 1962, the membership was successful in creating a Pension Fund .

Local 502’s history followed a different path.  Prior to being issued a charter from the United Association, union pipefitters in Louisville belonged to the International Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters.  After a costly strike and loss of membership, several remaining members requested help from the United Association. In January 1911, a charter was issued for “Steamfitters, General Pipefitters and Helpers Local 522.”  (In 1919, the wage rate for union pipefitters was 90 cents per hour.) In June 1944, the U.A. granted permission to change its name to “Pipefitters Local 522.”

Soon after the change to “Pipefitters Local 522”, the local began their Apprenticeship Program. The first two members to complete the program were William “Bud” Hammond and Edward “Ed” Horn. Both of these members returned to help with the apprenticeship program. Bud Hammond served as an instructor and as the apprenticeship coordinator for a number of years and Ed Horn worked in the tool crib at the school for over 28 years until health issues caused him to leave at the age of 93.

Local 522 began their Health and Welfare Plan in 1954 at a cost of 7 ½ cents per hour. In 1962, a Pension Plan was put into place with a contribution rate of 10 cents per hour.

Then in 2003, under the direction of the United Association, Local 107 and Local 522 were merged to form Local 502. At that time, the U.A. named Roger Baum, Sr. as the Business Manager/Financial Secretary, Danny DeSpain, Eddie Crooks and Ronnie Bishop as Business Agents, and Ricky Russ as Organizer.

Charter of Locals
  • Local 107 – June 1, 1893
  • Local 522 – January 7, 1911
Locals Combined
  • Local 502 – December 1, 2003