Our livelihoods and the future of the building trades in PA are on the ballot this year

Joint Message Featured Image
Gary J. Masino Headshot



Bryan J. Bush Headshot



On November 8TH Make Your Voice Heard

Attention Local 19 members: our livelihoods are at stake, our retirement security is at stake, and everything we hold dear as workers is at stake. We are not exaggerating when we say that our freedom to join with our brothers and sisters for better wages and benefits, safety on the job, and a secure retirement face a real and probable threat of being erased if Doug Mastriano is elected governor this November.

Mastriano will reverse state labor law and pass so-called “right to work” legislation. His actions will strip us of the freedoms we enjoy as members of Local 19 and tip the balance of power in our political system even further toward the wealthy. We would stand to lose everything as we know it. That’s why it’s crucial that we put everything else aside and vote our jobs. Now is not the time for complacency.

Mastriano is dead set on making Pennsylvania a right-to-work state, gutting our union and the broader labor movement’s ability to organize new workers into good-paying union jobs. Nationally, workers in right-to-work states earn less and have fewer protections, on average, than their counterparts in states without these restrictive laws. We don’t want Pennsylvania to join this race to the bottom.

In contrast, Josh Shapiro has spent the better part of his career looking out for working people. As our state’s Attorney General, he’s gone after unscrupulous employers who have exploited their workers and stolen their wages. He’s played a leading role in fighting the opioid crisis and championing pro-worker policies.

Shapiro has made it clear he will veto any right-to-work legislation that lands on his desk. Like us, he understands the importance of growing a skilled workforce. He will invest in trade training programs and protect the union way of life by ensuring every Pennsylvanian who wants to join a union will have the right to join a union.

Josh Shapiro has visited with thousands of workers across the commonwealth and has heard what they need. He sees workers being misclassified and how corrupt contractors have gotten away with exploiting working people and defrauding the taxpayers. All the while, contractors who operate above board have a difficult time bidding on public projects such as schools and municipal buildings. Josh has said he will champion a responsible bidder law to look out for workers, good business owners, and the taxpayer.

The contrast between the candidates is stark and makes our choice as voters quite clear.

Your union has never been party based; we are issue driven and support candidates who stand up for good jobs, affordable healthcare, and retirement with dignity. Our union membership gives us access to these and other benefits – it’s the power of our collective strength. But destroying labor law as Mastriano wants to do will put all that in jeopardy. The decisions we make this election will be critical to the livelihoods of Local 19 members and everyone else who lives and works in Pennsylvania.

It’s why we must all vote for Local 19’s endorsed candidates during the General Election on November 8th. We must mobilize and cast our ballot to ensure that the candidate who has the backs of working people – Josh Shapiro – is elected governor. And anti-labor extremist Mastriano is sent packing. 

Let’s make sure not to take Election Day for granted. While that day is a paid day off for Local 19 members, it should not be considered a holiday, it is an important day of service that was bargained for and protected for decades. A paid Election Day was established so that first and foremost, Local 19 members were given plenty of time to vote in the general election, but second (which is just as important), so that Local 19 members can help get out the vote for candidates that will fight for them, their families, and all working people. 

Don’t be mistaken, the momentum is with working people, who are joining together for higher wages and respect on the job. This fall, we will all head to the polls and make our voices heard through our choices. And it’s vital that we are speaking to our family members and friends who vote in PA about what is at stake. We can’t let the wealthy few help extremist candidates like Mastriano bully their way into office. 

Now is the time to act, make no mistake Mastriano is a threat to our families and our very way of life. Register to vote before the Monday, Oct. 24 in-person and mail-in registration deadlines. Check your registration status. Request your absentee ballot and have a plan for getting to your local polling station on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Make it a family affair and ensure your whole family votes. Share information on the difference between the two candidates and why this election is so important with friends and neighbors.

Tell them what’s on the line for you and your family – your access to a strong union with all the benefits that come with membership. And this won’t just affect union members – this will negatively impact communities and millions of people, whether they are a union member or not. If Mastriano is elected, the impending anti-worker legislation and executive orders coming from Harrisburg will send a shockwave through the entire region whether you live in PA or not.

For Local 19 members, voting cannot be an option. Your voice and your vote are critical to the future of the trades and the labor movement. This November, we must cast our ballots to protect our union and our families. We must stop the wrecking ball headed for workers’ rights and decades of union victories and defend the future for Pennsylvania’s working families. On November 8th, we must secure our futures – we must vote for Josh Shapiro.

Local 19 Wins Big at the Mid Atlantic Apprentice Competition

Local 19 Wins Big at the Mid-Atlantic Apprentice Competition

by Patrick Edmonds

This year, the Mid-Atlantic Apprentice Competition was hosted by Local 19 Philadelphia, and Local 19 did not disappoint. The contest took place from June 2 to June 4, 2022 and included nine different locals from the region, including Local 12 Pittsburgh, Local 19 Central PA, Local 19 Philadelphia, Local 22 Central NJ, Local 25 North NJ, Local 27 South NJ, Local 44 Wilkes Barre, Local 100 Washington, D.C., and Local 112 Elmira NY. 

“It was a pleasure to host such a great group of apprentices from our region,” said Joe Frick, Philadelphia Training Coordinator. “The dedication to the trade is remarkable, and the comradery among the apprentices and everyone involved is amazing.” 

Fourth Year Apprentice John Lawrysh III took first place in the fourth year apprentice category, showing off superior welding skills. 

Third Year Apprentice James Primodie took first place for the second year in a row. 

Local 19 Central PA, for the 4th year in a row, brought home the group contest trophy. The group contest is about teamwork, and the team of Georg Hoefer, Austin Daniels, and Braxton Koppenheffer did an outstanding job.

2nd Year

Georg Hoefer – 2nd place, Local 19 Central PA

Bradley Coe – 4th place, Local 19 Philadelphia

3rd Year 

 James Primodie – 1st place Local 19 Philadelphia

Austin Daniels – 2nd place, Local 19 Central PA

4th Year

 John Lawrysh III – 1st place, Local 19 Philadelphia

Braxton Koppenheffer – 2nd place, Local 19 Central PA

Group Competition

Local 19 Central PA – 1st place

Local 19 Philadelphia – 2nd place

Local 19’s apprentices showed their hard work and dedication with their performance this year. Each and every one spent hours preparing and studying for the contest. The apprentices of Local 19 look forward to continuing their winning ways in 2023. Next year’s contest is being hosted by Local 12 in Pittsburgh.  

All photography by Local 19 member Jacob DiPietro.

Ventilation Verification

by Patrick Edmonds

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge. As sheet metal workers, a large percentage of our work consists of ventilation systems that help buildings operate efficiently and healthily. 

The pandemic has brought the work of TABB and Commissioning to the forefront. Sheet metal workers have seen an increased need for IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) and TAB (Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing) technicians created by this need for healthy indoor air quality and proper ventilation, filtration, airflow patterns, and equipment maintenance. Ventilation Verification and IAQ assessments will help ensure buildings are safe from contaminants, such as pollutants, viruses, and bacteria. Due to the influx of this work, the training provided by sheet metal training centers and the International Training Institute has been spotlighted.

While some of the initial pushback might be “this is testing, adjusting, and balancing (TAB) work, and our members don’t do that.” Our key message is: “It’s not as complex as you think.”

In this step of the process – the assessment of a HVAC system – there is no adjustment required, just a recording of the air flow/filtration numbers on a form provided by NEMI that generates a report of current conditions and the next steps (whether maintenance, repairs, upgrades or replacements) to be determined by a design professional.

Nationally, there is a need for technicians that are trained to do Ventilation Verification Assessments. Most of this work is related to basic sheet metal skills and general knowledge of mechanical systems and components is a necessity. Some key aspects of the assessment are: 

  • Filtration and Ventilation meet minimum adequate requirements and recommendations.
  • HVAC components are functioning, and each unit is maintained to operate as designed.
  • Verify air distribution and building pressure.
  • HVAC operating schedule matches occupancy requirements.
  • All zones shall be equipped with a functioning CO2 monitor with the required capabilities.
  • Review of the Ventilation Verification Assessment by a Design Professional.
  • Completion of Design Professional’s recommended repairs and adjustments.
  • Prepare and submit a final HVAC Verification Report.
    • Documentation of final conditions, remaining deficiencies, and a plan to address remaining deficiencies.
    • Identifying and providing any grandfathered and/or landmarked establishments that may hinder changes to the HVAC infrastructure.
  • Establish a Preventative Maintenance List and Agreement with a vendor.

With proper assessments, design professionals can develop action plans to remedy problems with HVAC systems. In many cases, federal programs are available for commercial buildings that help offset the costs associated with the Ventilation Verification Assessment, systems retrofits, or system adjustments. After the design professional recommends changes, sheet metal contractors can benefit from the remediation work. 

Physical verification — and thereby adjustment and/or replacement — of an HVAC system by a skilled, trained, and certified technician will ensure accurate ventilation rates, functioning filtration, and achievement of the desired outcome with money well spent to protect the health and safety of the building occupants.

By being at the forefront of Ventilation Verification work, sheet metal workers can affect change in our communities. Understanding ventilation and its effects on occupants is essential to healthy buildings and work environments.

For more information about Ventilation Verification training please contact your training center.  

Additional Resources:



Retirees Club Helps Community Near and Far


by Charlie Sprang

SMW19-Retirees-Check-Blog-Post-PhotoAs you are well aware, your Local is always willing to lend a helping hand. Whether it be for a Local 19 brother or sister who is experiencing an unexpected hardship or a local institution or group in need of assistance, the leadership and members have always been willing to step up to help.

An opportunity can materialize from anywhere, even halfway around the world.

Bob Schuck, a 55-year member of Local 19 and Vice President of the Retirees Club, learned that the Sisters of St. Basil the Great were collecting supplies to ship over to Ukraine. Schuck; Father Bill Waters, the pastor of Schuck’s parish, St. Augustine Catholic Church in Old City; and another parishioner went to see Sister Joanne Sosler, the Provincial Superior for the Eastern Rite Catholic order, at the Motherhouse in Jenkintown.

“We found out that they had been collecting supplies: blankets, sleeping bags, men’s clothing, babies’ clothes, diapers, everything,” Schuck said. “They had collected so much they were out of room.”

The supplies are packed into boxes, loaded into containers, and shipped to Poland, where Basilian sisters  in Warsaw distribute the items to the more than three million Ukrainian refugees in that country. So far, they’ve shipped two containers at $10,000 per shipment.

“We asked how we could help and she said we could donate money,” said Schuck. “We donated $1,000 and that represents the largest donation the Retirees Club ever made.”

Schuck has been busy spreading the word. He’s mentioned it at Retirees Club meetings, and several members have traveled to Jenkintown to help the sisters pack boxes. 

The Retirees Club meets the second Tuesday of every month at the Hall except in the summer. Club President Jim Farally said they average about 40 members at meetings.

“We have probably over 100 members, and we have people send in dues from as far away as Florida,” said Farally, who noted dues are only $10 a year. “We have members over 90 years old come to the meetings. We even have fathers and sons as members. It is a good organization.”

They have speakers at most of the meetings to discuss issues affecting senior citizens, and they try to make it interesting for everybody. There is a Christmas luncheon every year, but they also plan outings for the members.

“We go on different trips. We’ll go to a Phillies game, a businessperson special,” noted Farally. “Right now, we have a dinner theater we’re working on and another trip to Annapolis, but that has to be voted on. We reach out to people to see what they want to do.”

Executive Board Member Frank Beck organized one such trip, a tour of the USS New Jersey at the end of April. Originally scheduled to be self-guided, Beck said the ship’s Director of Marketing and Sales Jack Willard arranged for it to be a guided tour.

“It was called a Firepower Tour because they took us around to all the gun turrets,” Beck explained. “They took us below deck to the war room and officers’ quarters. They showed us the crew berths, the galley, and the mess decks. We got to go up to the bridge too. It was a good tour that lasted about two hours.”

They also schedule a yearly meeting where they invite the second-year apprentices to join them.

“We treat them to lunch and share our experience and talk to them about what the Local has to offer,” Farally said. “We ask them if they have any questions. We’re building good relationships.”

Farally said the Retirees Club is always looking for a few good men and women to join the club.

“We have people retiring as early as 55,” he said. “So, we’re always looking for younger members. I don’t want this to fall by the wayside.”

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