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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 - November / December 2019

We are now in the last quarter of 2019. Pipeline work has been significantly slower than we’ve grown accustomed to in the last few years. Fortunately, the building trades sector has increased demand for a skilled workforce. Our Local 798 leadership has worked closely with our sister locals in fulfilling manpower needs in addition to our own pipeline projects.

For example, one such relationship we have is with UA Local 776. Recently, I spent time with Local Union 776 representatives in Lima, Ohio, and toured their new training facility. Developing these bonds is crucial to organized labor within our industry. We appreciate that all our sister locals have opened their doors to allow our members opportunities to earn fair wages and benefits. These jobs require background checks and OSHA 10 certification as well as other certifications specific to the job description. Our dispatch office can assist with this process. Keep in mind, if you are hired out to any building trades work, you represent Local 798 and the United Association. Carry yourself respectfully as you are a guest in someone else’s home. A good guest arrives on time, avoids gossip, has excellent attendance, lends a hand, and follows instructions. Always respect craft jurisdiction. This work has been a blessing for many. Let’s all be thankful for it.   

The annual Ohio/West Virginia Pipe Trades Conference in Roanoke, West Virginia, provided valuable connections and information. The Dilles Bottom, Ohio, cracker plant broke ground and is projected to be almost twice the size of the Shell Petro Chemical Complex currently under construction in western Pennsylvania. Dilles Bottom  will be the second-largest facility in the United States. The TransCanada-Columbia Gas Buckeye Express project is still scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2020. 

The best way to maximize your professional development is to attend regular membership meetings. Gathering in real time promotes the experience to share a common goal, network, and collaborate. At our September meeting, we accepted nominations for the December election. Details of the approved changes to our benefits package were also presented. We received significant pension increases, HRA will continue for 2020, and retirees will receive a five percent raise. Thank you to both Danny Hendrix and Justin Wallace for always having the best interest of the membership, especially when going into trustee meetings or negotiations.  

 Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all. In every season, your union works on your behalf, and its success depends on everyone making a conscious effort to preserve, protect, and participate. 2020 could shape up to be a great year if permits are granted to several projects. Please be diligent in using our Action Network. We must continue to advocate and fight for our work. Visit for an updated list of projects. Let’s all stand together every day to remain UNION STRONG 

As always, if I can be of assistance, please feel free to contact me. 


Alex E. Paris Contracting Co., Inc. 

- Jefferson County, OH. 1.8 miles of 12” lateral and fabrication for Mark West. Superintendent: Andy Cilia. Welder Foreman: Robert Bell. Working 5-10s. Approx. completion 10-15-19. 

Charps, LLC: 

- Manistee, MI.  Maintenance on 176 miles of (10”, 12”, 16”) pipe for Major Pipeline.  Superintendent: Daniel Bendickson. Welder Foreman: Tanner Dremmel. Working 6-10s.  Approx. completion 10-1-19.  

- Ithaca, MI. 16 miles of 6” with 2 HDD’s for Major Pipeline. Superintendent: Pete O’Toole.  Welder Foreman: Steven Downer. Working 6-10. Job complete. 

Foltz Welding Ltd.: 

- Gibson County, IN. 20” Wabash River tie-ins for Marathon Pipeline. Superintendent: Jeff Huffman. Welder Foreman: James Adams. Working 6-10s. Job complete. 

- St. Joseph County, IN. 1.3 miles of 12” and 450’ of 12” for NiSource. Superintendent: Joe Pennington. Welder Foreman: Oliver Frazier. Working 5-10s. Approx. completion 10-3-19. 

Geeding Construction, Inc.: 

- Toledo, OH.  10” cut-outs for Buckeye.  Superintendent: Greg Geeding. Welder Foreman: Steve Miller. Working 6-10s.  Job complete. 

Henkels & McCoy, Inc.: 

- Northville, MI. Hydrostatic test for 5.4 miles of 16” for Consumers Energy. Superintendent: Gordon Donnelly. Welder Foreman: Gary Mullin. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 10-20-19. 

- Northville, MI. Replace high pressure PLD for Consumers Energy.  Superintendent: Greg Skerig.  Welder Foreman: Steve Birgy.  Working 6-10s.  Approx. completion 10-26-19. 

Michels Pipeline: 

- Bessemer, MI.  16” integrity digs for Northern Natural. Superintendent: Scott Battisti. Welder Foreman: Scott Willey. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 10-4-19. 

-Canton, OH. Approximately 2200’ of 36” for Enbridge. Superintendent: Gordon Cameron.  Welder Foreman: James Bellinghausen. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 11-23-19. 

Minnesota Limited, Inc.: 

- Detroit, MI. 10” tie-ins on the Detroit River for Kinder Morgan. Superintendent: Dwayne Carlson. Welder Foreman: Jerad Lene. Working 6-10s. Job complete.   

- Crystal Falls, MI. Take-up and relay approx. 2000’ of 36” for TransCanada. Superintendent: Greg Merschman. Welder Foreman: Jason Slaby. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 10-19-19. 

- Shelbyville, IN. Station installation, various pipe sizes 6”-16” for Vectren. Superintendent: Presto Steenbergen. Welder Foreman: Cody Dye. Working 6-10s.  Approx. completion 10-10-19. 

- Evansville, IN. Maintenance work on various pipe sizes for Vectren. Superintendent: Greg Frazier. Welder Foreman: Jim Tyson. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 10-31-19. 

M.J. Electric, LLC: 

- Iron Mountain, MI. Instrumentation work on meter station for Semco Energy. Superintendent: Richard Usimaki. Working 4-10s.  Approx. completion 11-16-19. 

NPL Construction Co.: 

- South Roanoke, IN.  20” and 6” station repair for NIPSCO. Superintendent: Nick Sturwold.  Welder Foreman: Jay Lindley. Working 6-10s.  Job complete. 

- Decatur, IN. Set and hook-up heater in station for NIPSCO. Superintendent: Nick Sturwold.  Welder Foreman: Mark Antczak. Working 5-10s. Approx. completion 10-6-19. 

R.L. Morris & Sons: 

- Kalkaska, MI. 24” integrity work for DTE. Superintendent: Tyler Morris. Welder Foreman: Blaine Cecil. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 10-1-19. 

The State Group Industrial USA Limited: 

- Lima, OH. 40’ of ½” instrumentation tubing for Geeding Construction. Superintendent: Guy Carlson. Working 6-10s. Job complete. 

United Piping, Inc.: 

- Shelby Township, MI. Gas bolt-ups and inspection on 20” pipeline for WE Energy.  Superintendent: Joel Bailer. Welder Foreman: Tommy Morgan. Working 6-10s. Job complete. 

- Marquette, MI. Metering station fabrication plus hot taps for Northern Natural Gas.  Superintendent: Tim Darif. Welder Foreman: Jason Gillenwater. Working 6-10s. Approx. completion 12-2-19. 


  • 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.