Sprinkler fitters are among the few craftspeople who are happy never to see the fruits of their labor put to the real test. They are content if the miles of fire sprinkler pipe they install in modern skyscrapers appear merely ornamental. Occasionally they read a news story about a fire that was put out by a sprinkler system. Then they smile and take pride in knowing that, once again, their trade saved lives.
Sprinkler fitters’ work begins when construction begins and continues until the building is nearly completed. First, they run underground pipe to get the water from the street to the building. As the structure goes up, they insert and sleeve the floors before the concrete is poured.
Organized Labor went on the job site to the Mission Bay project, run by Nibbi Brothers Construction, to interview members of Sprinkler Fitters Local 483. The local has approximately 1000 members representing all nine bay area counties.