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.
The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching, and the weather will soon be turning colder in the Northeast. I have been asked a lot about whether the MVP and ACP projects will continue through the Winter. My answer is, it’s still not clear.
I hear from some spreads that they may continue, and some say they may shut down. EQT and Dominion’s decisions will undoubtedly hinge on weather and terrain.
If you’ve ever worked up here in the winter, you know it’s not for the faint of heart, and it can be a daily struggle. I do know that the MVP has a projected 4th quarter 2019 tie-in date and that ACP has not yet laid much pipe. 2019 should be another strong year in the Northeast as these two projects continue to get built. Hopefully, the permit issues are behind us.
After speaking with those involved in the MVP and ACP permitting shutdowns, one thing is clear. The environmentalists have a strong voice and are tactical in the way they do their business. The two projects were shut down by a well-financed environmental law group who found a technicality that showed the Bureau of Land Management had not done their due diligence in some National Forest studies required by FERC. This technicality led to FERC demanding the BLM to do their homework which inevitably caused work stoppages and slow-downs on the ACP and MVP.
This situation is a prime example of how important it is for us to make our voices heard through the Pipeline Action Network. There is no need to preach about how crucial advocating has become in our industry. We just witnessed what the environmentalists can do. But, we also saw how we could get the projects turned around in our favor when we turn in approximately 6,000 signed letters to FERC. This is the way it’s going to be from now on, and we might as well get used to it. Get active if you want to continue to work on FERC regulated projects in the future.
Recently, I walked the picket line for two weeks with Charlie Yates in Adamsville, OH, in protest of Integrity-Kokosing paying substandard wages and benefits. The picket was something that needed to happen. I have had numerous calls the last few years from members asking what we should do about Integrity, and I frequently hear about the amount of work Integrity has in the respective areas.
The situation with Integrity needed to come to a head, and I hope there is a resolution in the near future. I would like to give Charlie some much-needed recognition for spearheading a well-attended professional picket that I was proud to be a part of. For those dedicated 10 to 15 members that showed up faithfully six days a week at 6 a.m., you are commended, and I consider you to be the finest example of unionism.
I look forward to a strong finish in 2018, and I am extremely optimistic about what 2019 holds. There is still plenty of work to do, and I hope we continue to do it in a safe, productive manner, as we collectively pull together to get these historic projects completed.
- Ashburn, VA. Replace 4,360’ of 26” and Hydro 16,377’ of 26”. Superintendent: Ben Brown. Welder Foreman: Johnny Ray Warren. Integrity fringes paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
- Brandywine, MD. 15.8 miles of 24” new-lay. Superintendent: Jason Nash. Welder Foreman: Tommy Geohagan. Mainline rates. Working 6-10s.
- Chantilly, VA. 1 mile of 24” pipe. Superintendent: Karl Atwood. Welder Foreman: John Werner. Mainline rates. Working 6-10s.
- Blossburg, PA. 5.5 miles of 12” steel and 3.5 miles of HDPE. Superintendent: Rod Tyson. Welder Foreman: Ryan Copley. Special Agreement fringes paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
- Kane, PA. 14 miles of 12” new-lay. Superintendent: Butch Neidermaier. Welder Foreman: Shane Puerto. Special Agreement fringes paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
- Harmony, PA. 6653’ of 8”, 5742’ of 12” and 8962’ of 16” steel. Superintendent: Jim Mallon. Welder Foreman: P.D. McConnaughey. Mainline rates. Working 6-10s.
- Covington, PA. 1.37 miles of 12” and 3,351’ of 8”. Superintendent: David Wix. Welder Foreman: Andy Davis. Special Agreement fringes paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
- Bealeton, VA. 1,600 42” Double-joints. Superintendent: Matt Steele. Welder Foreman: Robert Pugh. Mainline rates. Working 6-10s.
- Prince Gorge, VA. Install 4 compressors. Superintendent: Sean Wilster. Welder Forman: Craig Myers. Station fringes paying High-Scale wages and per diem. Working 6-10s.
MORE 798 STORIES
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.
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.
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.
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.