Pipefitters stay non-union


Pipefitters at HIS Innovations Group rejected unionization in a 4-5 vote on Feb. 22. 

Union organizer Todd Templeton said United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 290 had the support of all but one worker when the union requested an election, but a handful of workers changed their minds after the company held numerous on-the-clock anti-union meetings and one-on-one sessions with workers. Company managers and executives directed workers over and over to vote no, said a worker who was subjected to the meetings.

The company makes vacuum tubing and high-purity fittings for use in semiconductor manufacturing. Pipefitters there make $26 to $32 an hour, $3 to $9 an hour below what union members with equivalent skills would earn. 

How did they go from overwhelming support to a narrow loss? 

“They lawyered up big time, hired three law firms, and got inside these guys’ heads and turned them around,” Templeton said.

Templeton said Local 290 is going to do everything it can to support the union supporters who found themselves in the minority.   


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