Cleveland Plumbing Contractors’ Association
Dan Miller, President
Our Contractor Members
CPCA is the parent contractor organization representing union affiliated plumbing contractors in Northeast Ohio. CPCA’s geographical jurisdiction includes the counties of Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula and parts of Summit and Medina.
CPCA’s predecessor organization, PHCC, was founded at the turn of the century in order to level the balance of power between the influential labor unions and the intimidated contractors. Suddenly, with the establishment of the Association, the contractors became a formidable opponent at the bargaining table.
Today, CPCA and Local #55 negotiate a collective bargaining agreement every three years and handle grievances that arise during the contract.
Another basic purpose of early plumbing contractors’ associations was to standardize the pipe and fittings of all manufacturers. In the late 1800’s, there were no codes to establish size and composition of materials, so one manufacturers products would not properly connect to anothers. With the help of the contractors’ associations, U.S., Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover established the first plumbing code, which began to resolve this problem.
The most important goal of the associations has always been to protect the nation’s health. Throughout history, poor plumbing and sanitation have been responsible for all major plagues. In fact, more civil war soldiers died from bad water and poor sanitation than did from war wounds. Not to mention the fact that President Lincoln’s son, Todd, died from bad drinking water while in the White House. Industrialized nations can, in great part, thank the plumbing contractors’ associations for the high health standards they enjoy today.
Then, after World War 11, the unions began negotiating benefits for their members, such as pensions and health insurance. In order for these benefits to be funded by pre-tax dollars and for the interest to be tax free, ERISA and the Taft Hartley Act require the funds to be co-administered by the contractors’ associations. CPCA and Local #55 co-administer four joint committees: Pension, Health and Welfare, Supplemental Unemployment Benefits, and Joint Apprenticeship Committee.
What are CPCA’s Services:
These four items: negotiating the contract, standardizing the industry, co-administering the fringe benefit funds, and protecting the health of the nation are the four main historical responsibilities of the Association. But there’s a lot more to the Association. Contractors join CPCA for more than labor relations.
- Fellowship is high on the list. Members look forward to regularly meeting with competitors, old friends and associates. The comradery at CPCA meetings and social events runs high.
- Information Exchange is a strong benefit that members enjoy. If you’re not a member of the Association, you could be in the dark regarding important information about the industry.
- Services: CPCA offers enhanced services to its members such as:
- Legislative Representation
- Educational Programs
- Technical Training
- Government Agency Liaison
- Policy: If there is a position to be taken on a plumbing industry issue, it’s CPCA that makes the policy.
- In or out: Contractors can either take control of their own industry and be part of the decision making process or they can be on the outside looking in. CPCA members are inside looking out. Curiously, they are all independently successful.