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Local 242 keeps boilers fired up for Mid Mountain

IT SHOULD COME as no surprise that Boilermakers are the power behind Mid Mountain Boiler and Steam. The company’s owner, Steve Bucini, himself a Boilermaker, has history with the union.

As Bucini tells it, when he moved to Washington State in the mid-90s, he’d previously worked as a Boilermaker but had “gone inactive for a bit.” He then joined Local 242 (Spokane, Washington) and went to work for Northwest Boiler. But by 2002, the company had gone non-union and dismissed Bucini and several other Boilermakers from their jobs.

Eventually he found a union outfit out of Tacoma that wanted to expand its reach to the east side of the state. He worked there for a few years before striking out on his own in 2006 to form Mid Mountain Boiler and Steam with the help of his union brother Randy Rogers—now retired.

“I couldn’t have done it without him,” Bucini says.

He started the Spokane-area business because “there were boiler shops around but no union shops. And I didn’t think they’d have experienced hands available on the bigger projects. So, I thought opening my own shop and having the resource of the Boilermakers to fill those jobs would be great.”

He knew he wasn’t going to be a non-union shop, so he signed an agreement with the Boilermakers. Though he and Rogers were a “two-man band for a while,” when they needed extra help, they hired out of Local 242. The company now has six employees and still uses the lodge as a resource when it needs extra hands on a job.

The Air Force is one of Bucini’s biggest clients. Mid Mountain Boiler and Steam did a quadruple boiler install at the Fairchild Air Force Base and also does work at the Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana.

Now in business for over 14 years, the company is facing a new challenge: COVID-19. While work hasn’t slowed too much, Bucini says clients are pushing some work down the road. “We’ve still been doing stuff for the Air Force base and also local projects for essential businesses that can’t function without boiler repair.”

That’s why, he says, Mid Mountain Boiler and Steam is considered an essential business—to help keep needed business open during a time of national crisis.

Visit Mid Mountain Boiler and Steam at www.midmountainboiler.com.