Local 9 of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Ironworkers is a labor union that represents ironworkers in Niagara County. Founded in 1902, Local 9 is one of the oldest ironworkers’ unions in the United States. Headquartered in Niagara Falls, the union has jurisdiction over all iron work in Niagara County, as well as parts of Orleans and Erie Counties. The ironworkers’ union is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). Ironworkers are involved in various types of construction, including erecting structural steel for buildings, bridge construction and fabrication of concrete reinforcing rods. Local 9 ironworkers worked at nearly every major industrial site in Niagara County, including Carbide Graphite, Hooker Chemical, Carborundum, Durez Plastics and Simonds Saw and Steel.
Although ironworkers rarely worked with asbestos-containing materials during building construction, they were routinely exposed to asbestos utilized by other tradesmen, such as insulators, carpenters, boilermakers and laborers. Up until the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into numerous insulating and construction materials utilized by insulators, boilermakers, plasterers, laborers, fireproofers, electricians and other construction tradesmen. Members of Local 9 have developed and died from mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases as a result of their exposure to asbestos while working as ironworkers.
Asbestos-containing materials were utilized in many different forms at large construction sites and industrial plants. Steam and hot water pipes were covered with asbestos-containing pipe covering. Insulators sprayed asbestos fireproof insulation onto structural steel. Boilers were covered with asbestos-containing block insulation and insulating cement, and boiler maintenance access doors were sealed with asbestos rope or gaskets. Asbestos-containing joint compound and plaster were utilized during building construction. When these materials were applied, removed or disturbed, asbestos dust and fibers became airborne. Most workers were completely unaware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos dust, and they performed their work without masks or protective gear.
Inhaling dust and particles from the application of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma or lung cancer. Even those who were not in direct contact with asbestos materials remain at risk for developing an asbestos-related disease. If you or a loved one worked as a Local 9 ironworker and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us regarding your legal rights.
Local 9 Ironworkers worked at the following facilities in New York State:
- Automotive Manufacturers
- Chemical Plants
- Industrial Manufacturing Facilities
- Oil Refineries
- Power Plants
- Public Buildings
- Steel Plants