Construction Issues

UA Local 404 advocates for issues and legislation that postively impact Texas’s plumbing and pipefitting industry.

We track the following issues and, when necessary, take action to protect our members and strive to maintain the highest standards on all job sites.

Some of the most significant construction issues that effect Local 404 and our members include:

Welder welding

"Right to Work"

These laws allow people to enjoy the benefits of a union without paying for union representation. So-Called “Right to Work” laws seek to undermine the financial stability of unions. According to Tex. Labor Code Ann. §§ 101.001, an employer cannot deny individual employment based on union membership. The law allows workers to gain union representation and all the benefits enjoyed from union membership without paying their fair share for the representation. Local 404, our sister United Association Local Unions in Texas and our signatory contractors are opposed to these laws, as they also create an unsafe workplace and encourage the use of unskilled, low-wage labor.

Apprentices hands-on training


The United Association and UA Local 404 believe it is vital for workers to be fairly compensated for injuries suffered due to unsafe working conditions. All Local 404 signatory-affiliated contractors carry workers’ compensation insurance and believe it is crucial to do so, as workers deserve to keep earning a living while unable to work through no fault of their own.

Apprentice working

Project Labor Agreements

A Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is a collective bargaining agreement between labor unions and contractors or a project owner. These agreements outline the terms of employment for a particular project. PLAs can be used when union and nonunion labor work on the same project. PLAs apply to publicly funded projects as a way to protect the investment of taxpayers. These are used to settle any potential labor dispute at the bargaining level and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent on quality labor. The private sector also utilizes PLAs to ensure the project is completed safely, on time and within the budget.

Welder working on site


A significant issue in the labor community is independent contractor classification. Some employers classify workers as independent contractors to avoid paying additional taxes, workers’ compensation and other costs associated with hiring employees. Independent contracting is dangerous for workers, as it affects their eligibility for benefits and lowers their wages. This practice is often used in the trades when a company needs temporary labor to complete a job and harms the workers. Employers who classify workers as independent contractors also pay fewer taxes. When a worker is classified as an independent contractor, an employer pays them, but does not withhold various taxes or provide them with fringe benefits. Independent contractor classification also allows employers to avoid Social Security and Medicare.

Pipe Trade Apprentice working


The State of Texas does not have a Prevailing Wage law. Such laws require a Prevailing Wage be paid to those working on a state or locally-funded public works projects and ensure the workers be paid the Prevailing Wage, plus benefits are determined by trade for the area. Without a Prevailing Wage law, publicly funded contracts are susceptible to being awarded to out-of-state contractors who will take the wages earned in one state and take them to their home state. This creates a negative effect on the local economy as it does not create jobs for local workers.

Tulsa OK


A significant portion of U.S. infrastructure is water infrastructure, which includes piping systems that supply fresh or potable water and a sanitary system to remove wastewater. Based on expected population growth in the Fort Worth area, the current pipe systems in many communities will not be able to handle the increase in users and their demand for water or to move wastewater. Local 404 and our signatory contractors favor infrastructure legislation to replace old pipes and modernizing the region's water infrastructure.