I am writing this Blue Light report after returning from the 2017 Marcellus-Utica Conference. This year’s conference had a more positive atmosphere due to expected deregulation of the current permitting process. During the conference I listened to gas company CEOs speak about how great the demand is for Northeast Marcellus gas. When there is demand, you need supply, and that is where 798 steps in. The pipelines we build supply the gas needed as our country continues to grow and inevitably demands more energy. There are quite a few projects scheduled for this year, and in 2018 that will help with the supply vs. demand issue that we currently face.
Some of these Northeast projects are: Sunoco’s Mariner East 2; National Fuel’s Northern Access Project; Columbia Gas/TransCanada’s Leach Express and Mountaineer Express; Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge; Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise; and Energy Transfer’s Rover project laterals that run into West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Although I am speculating, I think Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline and EQT’s Mountain Valley Pipeline will be 2018 projects, unless the permitting process speeds up exponentially. The jobs described above are mainline projects that will have compressor stations and other various facilities we will man. I also haven’t touched on the smaller projects that go every year in this region. In my opinion, 2017 looks to be a solid year.
Rick and I will soon be traveling throughout New York to advocate for National Fuel’s Northern Access project. Even as the work picks up we can’t forget about our strategy to speak out in favor of our livelihood. At the Marcellus Conference, Williams CEO Alan Armstrong thanked 798 and several other labor organizations for our support of their Atlantic Sunrise project. We are getting noticed. I just hope that these high-level executives don’t forget about what we are doing and have done, when they assign bids on future jobs. It would serve them well to use the best Welders, Helpers and Journeyman in the world if they want their project completed on time and under budget. Let’s use 2017 to show the clients we are the best by doing our jobs in a professional manner, while keeping safety and quality at the forefront of everything we do. If we do these things, we will most assuredly prosper as a whole.
I look forward to seeing the membership soon at Steward School. If you’ve never been you need to go. I have always been told that if you are going to be a part of something, then you should actually be a part of it. Steward School is an important and unique part of what makes us who we are as a Local. Please make your travel arrangements if you haven’t already done so.
Blairs, VA. 112 miles of 30” Launcher and receiver modifications, valve replacements, gap replacements. Superintendent: Daniel Bendickson. Integrity Management paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
Canonsburg, PA. Replace 8.2 miles of existing 20” pipeline. Superintendent: Fred Leasure. Welder Foreman: Cody Dye. Integrity Management paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
Providence, RI. 2”-20” Meter and Regulation Station. Superintendent: Jim Smilikis. Welder Foreman: Steve Coraci. Station Agreement paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
MORE 798 STORIES
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!
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.
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.
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.