Local 520 History

The early history of Local 520 begins in the U.A. Journal reports of Organizer Dickson. In the February 1914 issue, Organizer Dickson speaks of being in Harrisburg in December of 1913 to speak with several prior members about reorganizing a local.

In the March issue of the Journal, Organizer Dickson mentions that he was in Harrisburg and held a meeting on January 27th. A number of men attended that meeting and on February 5, 1914, a new local was founded in Harrisburg with a very good membership.

Officers were elected and installed and Organizer Dickson felt sure the Local would rise because of the proper spirit displayed and also because of its location in the Capital City.

The initiation fee in 1914 was $1.00 and monthly dues were $1.30. Our current fee is $200 and monthly dues are $33.

Our Local has seen many places for holding our Union meetings. Our first meeting place was at 310 Market Street and meetings were held every week, or as needed. In the years that followed, our meetings were held at various locations throughout Harrisburg, which included 211 Locust Street, 25 S. Second Street, 109 S. Second Street, 221 Market Street, 1219 N. Third Street and 2163 Berryhill Street. Our meetings from 1971 to the present day have been held at 7193 Jonestown Road. This building was built and paid for by the membership of Local 520. This building currently houses the administrative offices, our training facility and the meeting hall. We meet in the hall the second Friday of every month.

During 2003-2004, there was a complete renovation to the HVAC system. We also installed a new sprinkler system and our computer laboratory was completed during this same time frame.

Throughout the history of Local 520, some type of health care has been provided for the membership. However, a formal health and welfare program began in 1958, with a contribution rate of $.10 per hour. Our present day contribution rate for health and welfare is $12.99 per hour. Our Credit Union formed in 1961 and payroll deductions for the Credit Union began on November 1, 1996, at the rate of $.10 per hour. The current credit union contribution rate is $2.00 per hour for our journeymen and $1.75 per hour for our apprentices. A pension program started in May 1963, with a contribution rate of $.05 per hour. Our current contribution rate is $10.55 per hour. An annuity program was started in Local 520 in May 1984, at a rate of $.25 per hour. The current rate is $4.52 per hour.

The growth of Local 520 has seen several mergers. Lebanon (#633) was an early merger but no formal date is on record. Bellefonte and State College (#680) merged on October 31, 1969. Lancaster (#341) merged on January 1, 1970. This merger was followed by York (#555) on August 9, 1972, Shamokin (#559) on October 1, 1973, and Williamsport (*810) on January 1, 1991.

For information on the apprenticeship program offered at UA Local 520