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BUFFALO, NEW YORK (January 2002) – In an area where labor and management are perceived as adversaries and not allies, it was announced today that U.A. Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union No. 22, Western New York, has joined forces with the Western New York Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors, Inc. (WNYPMCA), to form a partnership to aggressively and jointly market their services across the region.

The newly-formed Piping & Service Industry Coalition (P&SIC) counts more than 50 local companies and contractors in its membership, as well as the nearly 1,000 highly-skilled and trained union craftspeople represented by Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union No. 22 throughout Western New York.

Armed with a tradition of bringing projects in on time and on budget and providing a stellar array of services, P&SIC representatives say their organization is ready to promote itself to new customers, as well as to non-union entities, in order to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of working with union contractors and plumbers/steamfitters.

The P&SIC also plans to reach out to its customer base in order to educate it of the tremendous worker training programs U.A. Local No.22 offers, as well as increase its lobbying efforts with elected officials on a number of industry and local issues.

"This is unique in the fact labor and management have come together in our industry to work together, side by side, to maintain and expand our customer growth," said P&SIC member Peter Seager, president of J. Horace Seager & Son, Inc. in Niagara Falls.

"Those in our industry need to know our association is working together to provide those services that are desired by our customers, and a better 'product' than our competition," he said.

David Quackenbush, president of Buffalo's Quackenbush Co., Inc., said it was extremely important "our customers know (the P&SIC is) economical and competitive, and that our personnel is experienced, trained and motivated."

"This all works to provide our customers with cost-effective services that make sense in the long run," Quackenbush said.

The long-term goal of the P&SIC is simply stated in the group's mission statement, U.A. Plumbers & Steamfitters Local No. 22 Business Manager Michael McNally said.

"We're dedicated to the promotion, advancement and education and training of the piping and service industry. Our priorities are simple: customer satisfaction; the highest safety standards and training; and quality work, delivered on time. We have and will continue providing our customers with work done right, the first time," McNally said.

Coalition officials also unveiled the P&SIC's multi-colored logo, which features a large wrench that is emblematic of the industry. Wrapped around the logo is an individual listing of the eight counties of the Western New York region the coalition serves.

"This just isn't about making a formal announcement and unveiling a logo. It's about tearing down fences that have kept us in check," said Joseph Kandefer, who is also chairman of the WNYPMCA's Labor and Management Committee, and president of M.K.S. Plumbing Corp. in West Seneca.

"The P&SIC will take the role of an educator in the local construction industry by informing our prospective and steady customers that by working together, we are the most dependable source in the industry. This sets us apart from other labor-management groups, since we will be proactively trying to increase our customer base by promoting our qualities, while other organizations meet primarily to resolve disputes," he said.

You know what you're getting with P&SIC Contractors.

In its effort to begin educating the business and construction community–from architects to construction managers to area school districts–and providing them essential information, the P&SIC and U.A. Local No. 22 have listed more than 50 union contractors with contact names and telephone numbers from across the region on the union's website (

The website not only directs interested parties to those contractors through direct Internet links, but also provides information on Local No. 22, its membership and extensive training programs at its Orchard Park facility on California Road.

"These days the lowest price isn't necessarily the best price," McNally said. "If the job isn't done right the first time, and the work that is done doesn't last, then you are going to lose that customer. When you work with the P&SIC and its members, you know what you're getting and the type of service and results that make sense in the long run." Kandefer agreed.

"Training and quality workmanship are important issues, but when they are combined with safety and professionalism at a competitive price, there is no alternative. This is what the P&SIC will work hard to promote," he said.

The P&SIC isn't stopping at a website.

The coalition will attempt to determine exactly why those in the Western New York construction industry–especially non-union entities–are and are not using union piping service contractors through a survey that will be conducted over the next couple of months. By polling those in the industry and receiving feedback, the P&SIC will better understand what it needs to do better to serve the area and increase its market share, as well as attempt to break the stereotype of being "union shops."

"We're serious about what we offer here in Western New York, which our members feel is unmatched. But to seriously understand what areas we are perceived to be insufficient in and what the overall impression is of who we are and what we do is extremely important in developing a long-range program that is successful," Kandefer said.