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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 Midwest - January / February 2020

I write this report after returning from St Paul, Minnesota, to attend the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project Labor Agreement (PLA) signing by the four crafts organized labor leaders and Enbridge.

Our own 798 UA Pipeline Director David Barnett; Special Representative Chad Gilbert; International Union of Operating Engineers National Pipeline Director Bob Wilds; Teamsters International National Pipeline Director David LaBorde; Laborers International Union of North America National Pipeline Director Luke Johnson; and LIUNA International Representative Dan Olson, all attended.

The $2.6 billion question is, “What is a PLA?” The Project Labor Agreement is a legal contract with Enbridge, the four organized labor unions, and our union pipeline contractors, to construct 350 miles of 36” pipeline across the state of Minnesota. The PLA ensures that every weld, nut, bolt, and shovel of dirt will be done by trained, highly skilled union members.

The Line 3 project consists of 1,032 miles of 36” pipeline. The Canadian, North Dakota, and Wisconsin pipe is in the ground and tied into the old Line 3 pipe, and the missing link is the 350 miles of 36” across Minnesota. The original Line 3 that was laid in the early 1960s is still being used in Minnesota. Our Welders and Helpers are still sleeving on this pipeline that is still in service.

This is where Enbridge and union members of all crafts need to work together to finalize the last portion of the missing permits. After four years of regulatory and permitting review, the replacement of Line 3 is the most studied project in Minnesota history. Replacing the existing Line 3 with the newest and most advanced pipeline technology available today will help protect Minnesota’s environment for generations to come. And, yes, there will be one more comment period during which all union members and their families that depend on these jobs need to get involved.  This will allow us to outnumber the loud voice of the environmental groups that have stopped us from building this Line 3 replacement for the last four years.

Please participate in the Action Network by letting your voice be heard by the Minnesota Public Utility Commissioners, the EQB, the Department of Commerce, and all the politicians.  They don’t understand how important these jobs are to the union members of Minnesota and the entire country to get the pipeline infrastructure updated for the future. We are very close to the finish line for this project, so don’t sit back and do nothing. Help your Brothers, your Sisters, and yourself by getting involved to secure these jobs for all our families. Never forget, United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

MORE 798 STORIES

  • 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.