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PPF Local 597

To opt out of PPF Local 597 dues:

  1. Enter your information into the form below and click “submit.”
  2. On the resulting page, click the link to open your customized form. You will also receive an email with a link to your form.
  3. Print the form. If you check the appropriate box about needing a printed version, we’ll mail you a copy of the form.
  4. Sign and date the form.
  5. Mail the completed form to the address at the top of the form. We highly recommend sending it via certified mail.

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The United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices of the Plumbing & Pipe, Local 597 (PPF Local 597) is the designated union for approximately 7,000 plumbers and pipefitters in Illinois working in both the private and public sectors.

private sector employee who disapproves of paying PPF Local 597 does not have the rights described below to end deductions but may be eligible to pay a reduced rate. The private sector employee who has a faith-based objection may also be allowed to donate to charity instead of paying union dues as described here.

Public sector employees who are employed by the certain private organizations are also represented by PPF Local 597.

For years, public employees have been forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment, allowing unions to take their members for granted. However, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that public employees can no longer be required to financially support a labor union against their will. (Janus v. AFSCME, 2018). Janus v. AFSCME, 585 US (2018)

Consequently, public employees may decline to pay these private organizations without losing their jobs or employer-provided benefits.

It is important to know that PPF Local 597 may continue to automatically withhold dues from employees pay even if they never signed up for membership in the first place. The best way to ensure the deductions stop is to submit a request to the union in writing.

You can opt out of PPF Local 597 dues by filling out the form above, printing it and mailing it to the union.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens after I send my resignation to the PPF Local 597?

You should receive some acknowledgement of your request from the union within a few weeks.

In most cases, union dues are automatically deducted from employees’ paychecks. Monitor your paychecks to make sure the dues deductions stop. If the deductions continue for more than a couple pay periods after submitting your opt-out request, contact the union.

Finally, keep in mind:

Opting out is your constitutional right. However, unions like PPF Local 597 sometimes place restrictions on when they will accept opt-out requests. If the union refuses to immediately cancel dues deductions from your pay, ask them to provide you with written documentation and contact us for assistance.

How much are PPF Local 597 dues?

PPF Local 597 regular dues cost between $444 and $984 per year plus 2% of working wages. In 2022, the average member paid $1,762 in dues and fees.

Will the union continue to represent me if I opt out?

Yes. PPF Local 597 has arranged to be the “exclusive representative” of its bargaining units, meaning it is impossible for workers to get out of the terms of the contract, even if they cease paying dues.

In exchange for the monopoly on this particular service, PPF Local 597 is legally obligated to represent all employees in the workplace, including those who choose not to join the union as members.

The collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the union and your employer will continue to set the terms and conditions of your employment and the union will continue to represent you in grievances, contract enforcement, discipline assistance or other proceedings governed by the collective bargaining agreement.

Will I lose wages, health care, retirement or other benefits if I opt out?

No. Under state law, a union contract is binding on all employees in a bargaining unit, regardless of whether they are technically union “members.” Your compensation, health benefits, retirement, and anything else governed by the collective bargaining agreement will remain unchanged if you opt out of PPF Local 597.

How will my relationship with the union change if I opt out?

While the terms of the contract will still govern your employment, union officials commonly prohibit nonmembers from participating in internal union affairs, such as attending union meetings, voting for union officers or participating in contract ratification votes. You’ll also be ineligible for any special “members only” benefits, such as discounts on additional insurance, scholarship programs, or deals the union has arranged with businesses. You may no longer receive the union newsletter or similar publications.

Why do people opt out of the union?

People have many reasons for not wanting to support the union. Some simply do not believe the services the union provides are worth the dues it charges. Others may find the union’s one-size-fits-all agenda does not serve them well because they are new to the profession, have a specialty that is not acknowledged in bargaining, or they believe their effectiveness is undercompensated. Some resent the union’s role in enabling and defending underperforming employees. Many find the union’s political activity and use of dues to advance partisan causes, candidates and ideology distasteful. Still others believe that union officials are corrupt and unaccountable to their membership.

Unions representing public employees are not governed by the usual consumer protection or anti-trust laws, so abuses are common. Unions can charge whatever they wish. They can spend dues money on anything they want. Often, they do not have to disclose how dues money is spent to members. They can speak for employees without consulting or informing them. They can injure some members’ interests while advancing the interests of others. Unions even have the ability to prevent employees from getting help in their workplace from other sources. They are not governed by any obligation to provide quality service, and almost never have to seek approval of the people they represent in an election to continue as the exclusive representative.

How does PPF Local 597 spend my dues money?

PPF Local 597 is a private organization with minimal obligations to disclose financial information to members.

However, the IRS requires unions’ 990 tax return to be a public document, and these can be found online at sites like this. PPF Local 597 reports using the Employer Identification Number (EIN) 36-1820310.

PPF Local 597

According to reports that must be filed with the Department of Labor, PPF Local 597 collected $18.8 million in dues and fees during 2022.

In that same year:

  • $6.4 million was paid to affiliate organizations like the national Plumbers and Pipe Fitters affiliate.
  • $882,349 was spent on political activity and lobbying.
  • $77,201 was paid or contributed to various organizations, many with controversial political agendas.
  • $163,440 was spent on attorneys and legal fees.

In 2022, PPF 597 paid 44 employees and officers, 19 of whom were paid six-figures. Business Manager Christopher Hernandez was paid $295,795.

Additionally, the union reported having $9.5 million in spare cash assets at the end of 2022. Of that, $6 million was accumulated in that year alone.

PPF 597’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019.

PPF National Headquarters

According to reports that must be filed with the Department of Labor, PPF collected $94.2 million in dues and fees during 2022.

In that same year:

  • $10 million was spent on divisive political candidates, causes and lobbying.
  • $1.5 million was paid or contributed to largely ideological organizations.
  • $1.2 million was spent on airfare, hotels, and other travel expenses for the union.
  • $6.4 million was paid to private attorneys and consultants.

In 2022, PPF paid 144 employees and officers, 102 of whom were paid six-figures. General President Mark McManus was paid $525,895.

Additionally, the union reported having $135.6 million in spare cash assets at the end of 2022.

PPF 597’s most recent LM-2 reports are available here: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019.