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Blue Light Report - May / June 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would first like to say, “Tough times never last. But tough people do.” Pipeliners are some of the toughest and most resilient folks, but we are definitely being tested. We already had many enemies to battle, such as cheap nonunion contractors, biased judges, and extreme environmental protesters.

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Blue Light Report Central - January / February 2020

I hope you all enjoyed a blessed holiday season. Now the new year gives us a clean slate. 2019 wasn’t what we had hoped, but such is the nature of our industry. We’ve all heard the expression feast or famine; fortunately, building trades work was available.

Thank you to all those members who helped our sister locals man their work cooperatively and professionally. This was a win-win situation for our UA family. Members earned a living wage and benefits, while our sister locals provided quality union labor. Keep in mind, your reputation precedes you, especially at the cracker plant. If you made a good name for yourself, it might open doors for future employment at the Dilles Bottom cracker in Hannibal, Ohio.  Although the site location is Ohio, Local 83 in Wheeling, West Virginia, has jurisdiction in this area. 

Two other major projects in Ohio also give us something to look forward to in the new year. Duke Energy’s Central Corridor Pipeline in the Cincinnati area has received permit approval, which is a step closer to the anticipated kickoff for spring/summer 2020. TransCanada’s Buckeye Express project has started moving materials into the region, which is another win-win situation. The client will receive quality union labor from Local 798; our members will have an opportunity for a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, and the Ohio Valley will benefit economically from pipeliners. I am also hopeful the Ladies of 798 will organize a community good works project.

Let’s add advocacy to our New Year’s resolutions. I hate to beat a dead horse, but last year was not what we had hoped for because of permit problems and professional paid protestors. There are two sides to every story, and we must be a voice in support of pipelines. We should loudly proclaim that pipelines improve product transportation and deliver safe energy. What does advocacy look like? Take, for example, the Mackinaw Strait’s Line 5 project in Michigan.  There may be opportunities to contribute to the approval process by signing petitions, attending town hall meetings, and being a presence at public FERC sessions. It is imperative we take the time to participate, support, and take action.  Solidarity is powerful. If you find yourself with a few minutes to spare, check the Action Network page. Are there any new campaigns that need signatures? Are you surfing the internet? Visit Pipeliners Local Union 798’s website and stay abreast of any scheduled town hall meetings or FERC sessions that need participants. Like to read while having your morning coffee? Get in the habit of routinely visiting both and  Add them to your favorites, reading lists, and bookmarks.   

Finally, congratulations and welcome to our newly signed contractor, Graycor Industrial Constructors, Inc. Congratulations also to all the newly elected and returning officers. I am confident you will represent the membership fairly. Remember, shop small, support union, and buy made in the USA. As always, if I can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to call.


Alex E. Paris Contracting Co., Inc.:

- Eastern, OH.  5,000’ of 20” cross country pipeline for Mark West. Superintendent: Andy Cilia.  Welder Foreman: Robert Bell. Working 5-10s. Approx. completion 12-16-19.

Big Inch Fabricators and Construction:

- Montezuma, IN. 24” anomaly digs for Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company. Superintendent: Dallas Shepler. Welder Foreman: Layne Richard. Working 6-10s. Job complete.

Charps, LLC:

- Ithaca, MI. 6” meter site launcher and tie-in to mainline for TransCanada. Superintendent: Daniel Bendickson. Welder Foreman: Christopher Olson. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 12-23-19.

Foltz Welding Ltd.:

- Filmore, IN. Two emergency digs for Marathon Pipeline. Superintendent: Joe Pennington. Welder Foreman: Luke Murfin. Working 6-10s.  Job complete. 

Graycor Industrial Constructors, Inc.:

- Nappanee, IN. Station modifications 8”-12” for NIPSCO. Superintendent: Kerry Schott. Welder Foreman: Aaron Shaw. Working 6-10s. Ongoing.

Henkels & McCoy, Inc.:

- Harrison, MI. Retirement of approximately 4000’ of 4” & 6” pipeline for TC Energy.  Superintendent: Mike Phinney. Welder Foreman: Brad Mullin. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 12-1-19.

Minnesota Limited, Inc.:

- Sugar Grove, OH. Remove 300’ of 20” plus 100’ of 1” for TC Energy. Superintendent: Fred Leisure. Welder Foreman: Charles Houston. Working 6-10s. Job complete.

- Frankfort, IN. Station fabrication, testing, and installation for Vectren. Superintendent: Tommy Alexander. Welder Foreman: Robert Turner. Working 6-10s. Job complete.

- Monroe City, IN. Well head tie-ins, fabrication, testing, and installation for Vectren.  Superintendent: Doug Vaughn. Welder Foreman: James Tyson. Working 6-10s. Job complete.

- Muncie, IN. Demo old heater and remove. Install new heater for Vectren. Superintendent: Kenneth Criswell. Welder Foreman: Michael Johnson. Working 6-10s. Job complete.

- Ray, OH. Class change, hydro test (4”-12”) for TC Energy. Superintendent: Presto Steenbergen. Welder Foreman: Cody Dye. Working 6-10s. Job complete. 

- Logansport, IN. Integrity and Maintenance. Replacement of existing odorization system for NIPSCO. Superintendent: Henry Van Dyke. Welder Foreman: Christopher North. Working 6-10s.  Job complete.

- Winslow, IN. 2” saddle repairs for ONEOK. Superintendent: Tom Lilyerd. Welder Foreman: Austin Severson. Working 6-10s. Job complete.

- Mancelona, MI. Well-head maintenance for TransCanada. Superintendent: Mike Schaaf. Welder Foreman: Gary Mullin. Working 6-10s.  Job complete. 

- Middlebury, IN. 1,600’ HDD replacement for NIPSCO. Superintendent: Tyler Royse. Welder Foreman: Casey Hollohan. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 12-21-19.


- Logansport, IN. Install 100’ of 16”, 100’ of 10”, and 130’ of 4” for NIPSCO. Superintendent: John Karlson. Welder Foreman: Andy French. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 12-13-19. 

NPL Construction Co.:

- Fulton, IN.  300’ of 24” for NIPSCO.  Superintendent: Nick Sturwold. Welder Foreman: Mark Antczak. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 11-27-19.

R.L. Coolsaet Construction Co.:

- Howell, MI. 3-20” pipe replacements for Energy Transfer. Superintendent: Jack Hill. Welder Foreman: Kevin Blaisdell. Working 6-10s. Job complete.


  • Blue Light Report - May / June 2020
    Dear Brothers and Sisters, I would first like to say, “Tough times never last. But tough people do.” Pipeliners are some of the toughest and most resilient folks, but we are definitely being tested. We already had many enemies to battle, such as cheap nonunion contractors, biased judges, and extreme environmental protesters.
  • Blue Light Report 2 - May / June 2020
    Dear Brothers and Sisters, I hope this report finds our Local 798 family safe and healthy. By now, the COVID-19 pandemic has reached almost every county and parish in the United States. I don’t know that anyone could have forecasted that this virus would sweep through our country with such intensity.
  • Blue Light Report Dispatch - May / June 2020
    There is no way to describe the times in which we are living. We are walking through a situation that no one has dealt with before us. However, we do have work starting. Gas companies and contractors are proceeding with extreme caution.
  • Blue Light Report Benefits Update - May / June 2020
    Virtual Medical Visit option available May 1st   PIBF will be launching the MDLIVE program on May 1, 2020.  This is a virtual medical visit program offered by BlueCross BlueShield for active and COBRA participants and for participants where PIBF is the primary coverage.