i started in the local 15 yrs ago when i started my rate was $6.35/hr. After five years where i not only learned a/c and ref. but also learned how to be a competant Steamfitter,welder and Mechanic. when i got out of my time the hr wage was $20.01 now it is $32.00/hr not including 3 pensions and the best healthcare my family could ask for. The unoin also allowed me the ability to make a move to a warmer climate and work from another hall. Granted the wages are less because the south pays less but my benifits are STILL there. I belive if you can make the sacrafice it is well worth it in the end.