Rchard Bermack Photography


Plumbing Apprenticeship
Program, Local 38
Organized Labor
May 2009

Local 38’s plumbing apprenticeship program began in the 1940s. Since then, the ratio of technical knowledge to physical skill has increased. Instructor Dan McCormick, who has worked in the trade for 50 years, 25 as a plumber and 25 as a steam fitter, explains. When he started, pipes were joined by ramming oakum into a joint and then pouring in molten lead. “Back then you had to really hustle to make 20 joints a day, but with the new materials, anyone can do 20 joints. And back then, you couldn’t make mistakes. It had to be right the first time. Now if you make a mistake, you just unscrew it and re-do it.”