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Blue Light Report - November / December 2019

As PIBF Co-Chairman, I am proud to announce an accrual increase for the Welders, Journeymen, and Helpers. The Journeymen rate increased from $205 to $220, and the Helpers increased from $136 to $146 per credit. Additionally, retired members will enjoy a five percent increase in their monthly amount. After the pension raises were calculated, the fund is still at 110.8 percent!

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Blue Light Report Northeast - November / December 2019

I am writing this report after visiting jobs in the Wheeling, West Virginia area. The jobs I visited were on small and medium-sized gathering line work. On projects like this, our fair contractors are competing against the nonunion from the bidding process until the completion.

We must recognize how important productivity and safety are to gain our contractors a competitive edge. On all jobs visited, the clients are happy and are going to continue to award us the work if we continue performing better than the competition. The big named projects are currently stalled due to radical environmentalism. It's crucial for us to gain the gathering line market share by showcasing our exemplary work ethic and professionalism. 

I mentioned the big named projects and will expand on what I’m hearing about them. The Mountain Valley Pipeline spreads in West Virginia are much further along than the MVP spreads in Virginia. Only five miles of pipe were laid this year in Virginia. Most of the pipe is laid in West Virginia, but the tie-in crews are waiting on wetland permits so they can continue. I don’t think any more MVP mainline will be laid in Virginia in 2019. 

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline recently received word that the United States Supreme Court will hear Dominion’s argument, which states that the U.S. Forest Service does have the authority to grant permits that allow the pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail. The argument will be heard in the spring, and a ruling could be handed down by June 2020. This is great news for Dominion, Local 798, and the pipeline industry as a whole. 

Once again, I traveled to Richmond, Virginia, to attend and speak at a Virginia Water Board hearing related to the MVP. The Virginia Water Board ruled the same way they did in February. Much to the disappointment of the environmentalists in attendance, they reiterated they have no authority to revoke the MVP permits. The environmentalists are not giving up in their attempt to stop the MVP, and I don’t think they ever will. We must not give up our fight and do whatever we can to get the project built.  If you have a chance to attend town hall meetings, then you need to attend. If you have an opportunity to sign petitions via the Action Network, then you need to sign them. Your jobs and your livelihoods literally depend on it. 

I also attended the West Virginia/Ohio State Pipe Trades Association Convention with Charlie Yates.  At this conference, we reinforced current relationships and formed new ones with many of the building trades locals in our respective jurisdictions. At this time, the building trades have plenty of work, and we need to upgrade our skills so we can help them man the jobs. There are times when we don’t get the opportunity to work on building trades jobs. We need to seize the moment showing up for work on time, sober, and willing to give a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. If we can do that, we can ride out the hard times and receive benefits when doing so. 

In closing, we have an election coming up, and I challenge everyone to get out and vote in this election. It’s your right, and it’s your obligation as a union member. 

Pre-Jobs: 

Napp-Grecco Company: 

- Conowingo, MD. Station pump removals and removal of 30” mainline pump piping. Superintendent: Anthony Russomano. Welder Foreman: Josh Nichols. Mainline rates. Working 5-10s. 

Otis Eastern Service, Inc.: 

- Blossburg, PA. Install 6.5 miles of 12”, 10”, 8” and 6” new-lay. Superintendent: Danny Cox.  Welder Foreman: Dave Marsh. Special Agreement fringes paying Mainline rates. Working 6-10s. 

-Leesburg, VA. 2,100’ of 30” replacement and fab install. Superintendent: Brad Moline. Welder Foreman: Brad Hall. Mainline rates. Working 6-10s. 

-Glen Dale, WV. 19,980’ each of 12”, 10” and 4” new-lay. Superintendent: Matt Holley. Welder Foreman: Ryan Copley. Special Agreement fringes paying Mainline rates. Working 6-10s. 

-Hagerstown, MD. 3 miles of 30” hydro-testing. Superintendent: Matt Holley. Welder Foreman:  Anthony Stone. Mainline rates. Working 6-10s. 

Overcash, LLC: 

- New Martinsville, WV. 3.52 miles of 24” new lay. Superintendent: Dewayne Collins. Welder Foreman: Doug Boulet. Mainline rates. Working 5-12s. 

Precision Pipeline: 

- Rocky Mount, VA. Plate 42” ends for Winter stabilization. Superintendent: Kevin Olerud.  Welder Foreman: David Salzgeber. Mainline rates. Working 6-10s. 

U.S. Pipeline, Inc.: 

- New Martinsville, WV. Replace and relocate 3-36” MLV’s.  Superintendent: Cliff Sinclair.  Welder Foreman: Shannon Jackson. Mainline rates. Working 6-10s.  

MORE 798 STORIES

  • Blue Light Report - November / December 2019
    As PIBF Co-Chairman, I am proud to announce an accrual increase for the Welders, Journeymen, and Helpers. The Journeymen rate increased from $205 to $220, and the Helpers increased from $136 to $146 per credit. Additionally, retired members will enjoy a five percent increase in their monthly amount. After the pension raises were calculated, the fund is still at 110.8 percent! 
  • Blue Light Report 2 - November / December 2019
    2019 is rapidly coming to a close. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we must be prepared to fight for every mile of pipeline that we get to lay.
  • Blue Light Report Dispatch - November / December 2019
    I have been looking back over past Blue Light reports from 1974 to 1976, and I have found some very interesting information. I could copy and paste some of the 1974 reports, and you would not be able to tell the difference. The irony is unbelievable.
  • Blue Light Report Organizer Update - November / December 2019
    I hope this report finds everyone doing well. It was nice visiting with members during the September meeting, where we had nominations for officers for the upcoming election. I would like to congratulate all the candidates and wish each of you good luck in your endeavors. There is no greater honor than serving the members of this great local union.