WASHINGTON — Edward F. Carlough, president emeritus of the Sheet Metal Workers Union and negotiator of the first health, welfare and pension plans in the construction industry, is dead at the age of 81.
Carlough, who served as the top officer of the 150,000-member union for more than a decade, died Tuesday at his home in Alexandria, Va.
The labor leader, born in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1903, became active in union activities in the 1920s in New York City and was elected president and business manager of Sheet Metal Workers Local 28 there in 1941.
He negotiated the first local health and welfare plan in the building and construction trades industry in 1946 for Local 28. Four years later, he successfully negotiated the first pension plan in the construction industry, again for Local 28.
Carlough became general secretary-treasurer of the international union in 1951 and was elected president in 1959. He was reelected twice.