Thomas J. Kotel

Appointee of the City of Chicago

Thomas J. Kotel

Thomas J. Kotel is the Recording Secretary of Chicago based Pipe Fitters Local Union No. 597, the largest Pipe Fitters Local Union in the United States and Canada.

Mr. Kotel is a native Chicagoan, born and raised on the city's South Side, where he still resides. After graduating from High School, Mr. Kotel was accepted into Local 597's apprenticeship program in 1977. Over the years, he distinguished himself first as a welder, then as a foreman, general foreman, mechanical superintendent and general site superintendent working on a variety of projects in the commercial and industrial sectors. He has had significant experience working on projects involving nuclear power plants, oil refineries, chemical plants, airports and major municipal/state facilities.

In 1996, he ran for and was elected as Delegate to the United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters International Convention. Then, in 2001, the members of Local 597 elected Mr. Kotel Business Representative. In that capacity, he directly represented Local 597 members in resolving the labor/management issues on the major construction projects in the Greater Chicagoland Area.

Since being elected Recording Secretary in 2006, Mr. Kotel has served on the Boards of Trustees of multiple benefit plans covering Local 597 pipe fitters, overseeing invested assets in excess of $2 billion. In addition to his work as a Trustee on those plans, he serves as an Officer or Delegate to numerous Labor organizations: He is a member of the Finance Committee on the Illinois Pipe Trades; he represents labor on the Labor Management Committee on Healthcare for the Water Reclamation District; and he acts as Local 597's Delegate to the Chicago and Cook County Building Trades, the Chicago Federation of Labor and C.O.P.E.

In his role as Local 597's Recording Secretary, Mr. Kotel works directly with 450 employers that are signatory with Local 597, assisting them in meeting all of the requirements of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, including its bonding requirements.

As a native Chicagoan and a longtime member of Pipe Fitters Local 597, Mr. Kotel's dual passions are improving the City of Chicago and strengthening the ties between organized labor, its management partners and their end users.

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