Piping Industry Progress & Education Trust Fund

Labor-Management Cooperation Committee

501 Shatto Place, Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90020-1713

Toll Free. 800.457.7473
Phone. 213.382.5255 | Fax. 213.382.2501

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Featured Local

Local 398

In August of 1910 the United Association granted a charter to form a local for work in the San Gabriel Valley of southern California. Local 398 began dispatching from what was then the dusty agricultural town of Pomona (population 10,000) half a day's journey from downtown Los Angeles on the Southern Pacific rail line. More than a century later Local 398 is still dispatching plumbers and fitters from its new offices in Rancho Cucamonga.

The Local's jurisdiction stretches from the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains to the lowlands of the basin, including more than twenty major towns, among them heavily populated Pasadena (135,000), Pomona (150,000) and Ontario (163,000). Its current membership stands at about 1,000 members, with 160 apprentices in various levels of the training program.

Local 398 is led by Business Manager Ray LeVangie, who has spent 35 years as a working member, business agent and elected official of the union. The Local's business agent is John Sherman and its organizer is Chuck Stratton. They are assisted in their work by the very capable Debbie Whitford. Together these four conduct the work of the Local, which all agree consists of two elements: getting members to work and keeping contractors happy.

Business Manager Ray LeVangie notes that his members "work all around the Los Angeles basin and in the surrounding counties of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino-wherever their contractors will take them." Prominent employers include H.L. Moe, the Murray Company and Pan Pacific Plumbing.

Among the Local's larger projects is the San Antonio Community Hospital in Upland. UA contractors ACCO, Excel and DK Mechanical are currently expanding the facility from 279 beds to 343 beds, with project completion expected in 2013. By the time of completion the facility will employ over a hundred Local 398 hands.

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