Leslie Roberts, 36, is a plumber and a member of Steamfitters Local 638. He is currently working on the Riverside Drive Project in New York City, a 100% union-built property located along the Hudson River on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that is financed by union pension dollars through AFL-CIO-sponsored programs.
Leslie has been a part of the union since 1998 and first got involved with the Steamfitters union because his father was a steamfitter. He is a mechanic, working on all of the heating and air conditioning aspects of the building for the Riverside Project. He is currently the foreman’s partner and is the second in command at this site where he oversees everything, including helping his team get materials and laying out everything for the project ahead of time.
When asked about the best part of being a union member, Leslie reveals, “It’s the brotherhood that we have, the camaraderie, the family—a lot of the families are related and came up through generations, and their fathers have worked with my father. And also, the quality of work that we do is special because you get to see a project being built that’s always going to be there; it’s a lasting memory that you’re always going to have to look at and to tell your kids about when you drive by.”