The United Association has a new partner – a fellow American union.
On August 1, the UA and Roofers Union formally agreed to an affiliation to work together on water capture systems.
The partnership allows both sides to retain their organizational independence, but aligns both groups on training, safety, marketing, organizing and other issues pertaining to water conservation and water capture systems. The unions will retain autonomy in regards to structure, finances, internal affairs, collective bargaining agreements and benefits.
This is the third affiliation for the UA; prior affiliations were international agreements with the Technical, Engineering Electrical Union (TEEU) of Ireland and the Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU) of Australia.
“Water scarcity is a serious and growing problem in the United States, particularly in the western and southwestern parts of the country,” said UA General President William P. Hite. “With the assistance of our affiliates in Australia, the PTEU, we are developing cutting-edge techniques to outfit U.S. buildings with systems that capture and reuse a lot of the water that is currently wasted.
“The top-notch skills that the men and women of the Roofers Union bring to the table are critical to the success of this initiative. Working together, we’re going to create jobs and take on water scarcity by delivering the most water-efficient buildings our country has ever seen.”
Before installation of water capture systems can occur in the U.S., a lot of work must be done to prepare both unions for the potential work, which will focus on industrial and commercial properties. Elements to be discussed and finalized include the exact type of training members will need to perform the work, the corresponding safety training, marketing the developing industry to contractors and project owners, and potential legislation.
Both unions will train independently of one another at their own training centers and members will be trained on technology and systems, most of which are quite new to the United States. Training will be rolled out nationally, but the demand for workers trained and skilled in water recapture systems will be initially limited to areas facing a water crisis.
The agreement will go into effect on November 1.