Merger between Local Unions #281 and #105
For many years prior to 1963, three sheet metal unions operated within the Detroit area. They were Sheet Metal Workers’ Locals number 105, 281 and 292. A merger between Local Union 105 and 281 was put into effect during October 1963. The new Charter created Local 80. Local 80 would have geographical jurisdiction over a six-county area covering Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Sanilac Counties. Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 292 was the industrial local designing and installed paint finishing systems in the auto plants. Prior to 1963, auto plants were primarily located within the Detroit area. In October 1963, Local 292's geographical jurisdiction was extended to include the same six counties as Local 80.
Both locals 105 and 281 covered the same geographic area. Local 281 was chartered strictly as a Residential Union. However, they repeatedly bid heating, ventilation and air-conditioning work. Since Local 281's wage package was less than Local 105's, they kept underbidding work that wasn’t covered within their jurisdiction. This underbidding occurred continually. Eventually the problem finally reached a climax.
Local 281 bid on the new Cobo Hall project in 1958 and was awarded the contract. The job should have been handled by Local 105 contractor, J. Brodie. This was definitely a commercial project, not a residential one. Local 105 accused Local 281 of undermining their Building Trades Contract and their trade jurisdiction. This would create the eventual merger of the two unions.
Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 105 reached the last straw. The lost Cobo Hall project was the turning point and now something needed to be done. As a result, early in 1962, General President Carlough summoned Sheet Metal Locals 105 and 281 to a meeting with the General President and General Counsel. The meeting was held in Washington, D.C.
To answer the charges from Sheet Metal Workers’ Local Union 105, Local 281's representatives were Marion Macioce, Bill Walker and Bill DePollo. The representatives from Local 105 were Charles Summers Sr., William Bradfield Sr., and William Styles.
There were two days of testimony. After reviewing all the facts, General President Edward F. Carlough decided to merge Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 105 with Local 281. This created Sheet Metal Workers’ Local Union #80 and would finally put an end to the ongoing problems. The merger took place in October of 1964 and so began Sheet Metal Workers' Union Local #80.