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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

This report is about a week too early as I am waiting to schedule a second meeting with Evans Construction.  Evans Construction is a family-owned company based in Canton, OH.  I hope that they will join the ranks of fair union contractors and sign the NPLA.  I remain optimistic that in my next report, I can favorably announce a new partnership.

Unfortunately, Integrity Kokosing has yet to sign despite our picketing efforts in August and September.   We extended our hand multiple times to help this company grow, and their response was a questionable and unheard-of agreement with Operating Engineers Local 18.  Local 798 and the UA at the international level are working to see that this agreement is rescinded.  I believe that we did everything right.  With the help of our loyal and dedicated members, we managed to shut down the contractor for a full week.  We had a variety of hands that included retirees, members who were laid off, and new books focused on the importance of our assembly.  We also had cooperation from community law enforcement, neighborhood restaurants, and especially the union landowner from Cambridge Local 495.  At the least, our demonstration motivated a dialogue between 798 and TransCanada.  Maybe the gas company will pause before using any contractor on future projects that are not 100% signatory, with all four crafts recognized in the National Pipeline Agreement.  Utilizing union labor on a project makes for a more efficient, productive, and professional pipeline.  Thanks to all who helped declare our union message in Adamsville, OH. 

My area now is primarily station and maintenance work.   There are a few lingering mainline jobs still wrapping up tie-ins and testing since Mother Nature has made it tough on pipeliners with all this wet weather.  The anticipated 90-mile 12” Falcon line still has yet to be awarded.  I have no additional details at this time.  Until then, plan to attend our year-end December meeting.  Unions require participation, which includes regular attendance in Tulsa.  It also includes continuing to use our Action Network.  Participation even means being registered to vote to speak out against Right to Work.  There will always be issues like non-union, extremists, and Right to Work laws attempting to weaken organized labor.  We can help win the battle by doing our part at home, on the job, and at the hall.

If I can be of assistance, don’t hesitate to call. 


Big Inch:

- Kalamazoo, MI.  12” meter, install 26” valve and interconnect for Panhandle Eastern.  Superintendent: Jim Shepler.  Welder Foreman: Derreck Dove.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 10-26-18.

Contractor Rentals:

- Ashland, OH.  Three sites storage well pipeline (20”, 10”, 6”) for Columbia Pipeline Group TransCanada.  Superintendent: Jeff Lykes.  Welder Foreman: John Fowler.  Working 5-10’s.  Approx. completion 10-19-18.

Foltz Welding:

- Various counties in Michigan.  10” anomaly digs for Marathon Pipeline.  Superintendent: Hank Hull.  Welder Foreman: Heath Hastings.  Working 5-10’s.  Approx. completion 10-26-18.

- Speedway, IN.  1,500’ 10” bore in Marion County, IN for Marathon Pipeline.  Superintendent: Jeff Huffman.  Welder Foreman: Tim Skidmore.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 11-15-18.


- Troy, MO.  22” fab in Missouri and install in Indiana for Marathon.  Superintendent: Greg Geeding.  Welder Foreman: Daniel Jones.  Working 5-10’s.  Job complete.

Henkels & McCoy:

- Mt. Pleasant, MI.  Install 8” relief valves for UTI.  Superintendent: Ty Turnbull.  Welder Foreman: Gary Mullin.  Working 6-10’s.  Job complete.


- Wilder, KY.  2”-24” station work at various sites in KY and OH for Duke Energy.  Superintendent: Jesse Boyd.  Welder Foreman: Dave Pierce.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 10-15-18.


- Ishpeming, MI.  Installation of high-pressure mainline taps for Northern Natural Gas.  Superintendent: Trevor Norelius.  Welder Foreman: Ben Weinke. Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 10-19-18.

- Wakefield, MI.  Stopple and valve installation for Northern Natural Gas.  Superintendent: Colby Hutson.  Welder Foreman: Jake Linney.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 10-2-18.

- Northville, MI.  5.9 miles of 16” hydrostatic test, fabrication of test headers and valve assembly for Consumers Energy.  Superintendent: Dan Costion.  Welder Foreman: Travis Alt.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 10-27-18.

- Fenton, MI.  Replace and modify existing 20” and 24” interconnect piping for Consumers Energy.  Superintendent: Joe Stone.  Welder Foreman: Jerome Bruns.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 10-27-18.

Minnesota Limited:

- Pendleton, IN.  2”-6” station modification and 2”-20” station installation in Madison County, IN for Vectren.  Superintendent: Preston Steenbergen.  Welder Foreman: Dustin Caskey.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 10-1-18.

- Clarksville, IN.  1.5”-12” integrity and maintenance work, retire and install new pipe in station for Vectren.  Superintendent: Greg Frazier.  Welder Foreman: Robert Turner.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 12-15-18.

  1. L. Coolsaet:

- Romelus, MI.  Hydro testing 7 miles of 16” for Panhandle Eastern.  Superintendent: Joe Elliott.  Welder Foreman: Kevin Blasdell.  Working 6-10’s.  Job complete.

- Howell, MI.  Storage field modifications, install 1-8” receiver and 1-6” launcher for Panhandle Eastern.  Superintendent: Jack Hill.  Welder Foreman: Kevin Blasdell.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 11-9-18.

State Group:

- Northwood, OH.  Instrumentation tubing work in various stations for Michels Pipeline/Nexus.  Superintendent: Guy Carlson.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 10-1-18.


- Dillonville, OH.  Compressor station expansion 1”-36” for Enbridge.  Superintendent: Bob Humphrey.  Welder Foreman: George Houston.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 12-26-18.

US Pipeline:

- Salineville, OH.  2 units grass roots compressor station, 2”-36” in Columbiana County, OH for Texas Eastern Transmission/Enbridge.  Superintendent: Todd Strassburg.  Welder Foreman: Matt Day.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 3-1-19.


- Sugargrove, OH.  10” compressor station for TransCanada.  Superintendent: Robbie White.  Welder Foreman: Toby Boyette.  Working 6-10’s.  Approx. completion 10-22-18.


  • 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.