Shropshire elected business manager of UA Local 290


Al Shropshire has been elected business manager/financial secretary-treasurer of United Association of Plumbers and Fitters Local 290. He defeated Lou Christensen, assistant to the business manager, 897 to 655. The two were running to succeed John Endicott, who retired.

In other races, Robert Porter was elected president, defeating Paul Elder and Steven Cowell; Gil Freeland defeated incumbent Terry Neely for vice president; Amy Sprengelmeyer outpolled Barry Bledsoe for recording secretary; and Craig Weismann bested Preston Hunt for inside guard.

Eight members ran for two seats on the local’s Executive Board representing Region 1. The winners were Mark Sundstrom and Teresa Neely. In Region 2, Dennis Mask defeated one other candidate; and in Region 3, Rick Two Bears outpolled four other candidates.
Dave Hauth, Rick Hindman and Chris McNicholas were re-elected to the Finance Committee.

Elected to the Examining Board were Pete Bakker and Barry Sather representing Oil Burners; Jim Eastman and Craig Harguth representing Metal Trades; and Frank Boyle and Drew Waits representing Plumbers; Randal Nelson Jr. and Ramon Ramon outpolled three other candidates to represent Pipefitters; and Eric Fanning and Erv Garrison topped two other candidates to represent ACR.

Local 290 represents 4,200 members working in all branches of the piping industry in construction, industrial, and at shipyards in Oregon, Southwest Washington, and four counties in Northern California.

Shropshire, 58, is a 37-year member of the union. He started his career as a pipefitter in 1973 working in ship repair at the Portland shipyards. In 1979 he passed the pipefitters exam for building trades construction and subsequently worked on commercial and industrial jobs.

Shropshire comes from a pipe trades family. His grandfather, father, brother, wife, and two sons are all union pipefitters — the latter three are members of Local 290.

Shropshire was hired as a business agent for the union in 1993 by the late business manager Matt Walters. In more than 15 years in that job he covered pipeline and gas distribution; members in east Portland through the Columbia Gorge to Morrow County and Southwest Washington; and for a short time the Portland shipyard.

He has served on Local 290’s joint apprenticeship training committee and he’s been a journeyman instructor at the training center.

“My favorite part of working as a business agent was enforcing our master labor agreement, fighting for our  jurisdiction, and most of all standing up for members on the job,” he said.

In 2008, Shropshire ran unsuccessfully for business manager. He returned to work in the field in early 2009, and retired in November that same year. He was drawing a pension check when de decided to run again for the union’s top post.

Shropshire and all other officers were installed Jan. 20. All terms are for three years.


  1. Congratulations!
    Al, thanks for putting yourself forward to lead our local in the right direction. Look forward to favorable times ahead. Good Luck.



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