In its continuing expansion as a global presence, the UA signed a federation agreement with the organization’s counterpart in Ireland — the Technical, Engineering Electrical Union (TEEU) — at the Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C. in January 2015. Special guests at the signing ceremony included Irish Ambassador Anne Anderson, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, TEEU General Secretary Eamon Devoy, and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
The Federation agreement enables the UA and TEEU to expand organizing efforts and share training and technology across borders. Among the objectives of the agreement are enhancing the skills of members, ensuring strong occupational safety and health programs and expanding job opportunities. In 2012, the UA signed a similar affiliation agreement with the Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU) of Australia, which was established in 1912. The TEEU has been in existence since 1920 and was formed as part of Ireland’s independence from Britain. In Canada, the piping trades have been part of the UA since its earliest beginnings in 1889.