Teamsters: Pipeline Projects Mean More Local Jobs

TeamstersRichard Stern
Teamsters National Pipeline Training Fund

Pipeline projects such as the Williams Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline mean more local jobs, the Teamsters National Pipeline Training Fund told DEP last week.

Last week, I offered the following testimony at a Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania hearing on the very important Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project. A copy of my full submission, including exhibits, may be found here. My point, and the main point as I see it, was and is that pipeline jobs result in local employment; a fact often poorly understood by those who suppose pipelines are built by out-of-towners.


Here’s the basic testimony I offered on behalf of some of Pennsylvania’s pipeline workers — workers from the very region the Atlantic Sunrise will serve:

The Teamsters National Pipeline Training Fund, representing over 85 contributing Union Pipeline Contractors affiliated with the Pipeline Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with over 1.25 million members affirms our support for the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project.

This project will provide Teamster members who belong to Local Unions 229, 401, 429, 764 and 776 with high wages plus health insurance and pension benefits. These workers,who will be performing the pipeline construction work along the Atlantic Sunrise route, are domiciled in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Also, the Teamsters National Pipeline Training Fund is committed to building this project with well-trained and qualified Teamster workers who reside in Pennsylvania and who belong to the Teamster Local Unions noted above who have work jurisdiction over this project. In addition, we will supplement this workforce with Teamster members from other local unions within the state.

Therefore, these workers have a vested interest in building this project in an environmentally safe manner and in compliance with Chapter 102 and 105 since their own families could be affected by this project.

Utilizing union contractors to build the project guarantees at least 50% of the workers will be local hires. The collective bargaining agreement between the Teamsters and Pipeline Contractors Association states:

“The words “regular employee” shall mean those who are regularly and customarily employed by the Individual Employer and because of their special knowledge and experience in pipeline construction work, are considered key men. It is anticipated that the number of regular employees shall not be more than a majority of the total number required but there shall be no limitation on the classification of such regular employees, with the understanding that these classifications will be distributed as evenly as possible.”

See Exhibit A of my full submission for the details. Also, I have supplied two of our Steward Reports dated June 2, 2017 (see Exhibit B), which are quite revealing.

As an example, the one with Contractors Rental lists every Teamster worker on the Rice Energy project as their Home Local being 585, which is located in Washington County, Pennsylvania. All these workers are residents of Pennsylvania.

A second Steward Report with Hollis Group shows nine Teamsters working on this Williams gas project. All but one are members of local unions living in the state. Therefore, eight out of nine workers on this project (89%) are residents of Pennsylvania.

Therefore, when a pipeline project such as the “Project” is built using local union labor, the majority of pipeline construction workers will be from the local community.

Again, these workers have an incentive for to make sure every project is environmentally safe because they live where they work.

We have pipeline contractors who specialize in Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) type of work. HDD is used for the installation of pipelines beneath rivers, highways and other environmentally sensitive areas requiring technology and equipment that can install pipelines without any disturbance to natural habitats.

Some of our specialized signatory contractors and a more detailed explanation of the work they perform in areas of great environmental concern are included in this submission (see Exhibit C).

Prior to the construction of the Atlantic Sunrise we will provide classroom training programs based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Regulations on “Compliance, Safety and Accountability” and also Defensive Driving. The Teamsters CSA/Defensive Driving Instructor has been cited as a Trend Setter by the “National Safety Council” — an Award he has received from them in the past. He will teach this Course to our Teamsters who will work on the “Project” prior to the work starting (see Exhibit D).


This classroom training is complemented by providing additional skills training on the equipment to be used on a project (see Exhibit E). Under our collective bargaining agreement workers must have certain qualifications prior to working on the project (see Exhibit F). Also, our Pipeline Agreement includes Drug and Alcohol Testing to ensure a drug free work environment and “Training/DOT Rules” to maintain high quality work standards and qualifications (see Exhibit G).

Finally, Teamsters support our Veterans who will be working on the project through the Teamsters Military Assistance Program.

An Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project constructed with our trained and highly skilled union workers and specialized union contractors will be done in a safe and environmentally friendly manner and in full compliance with the Chapters 102 and 105. The union contractors who will be charged with building it are specialized and are highly experienced in performing pipeline construction work especially in sensitive environmental areas where wetlands, rivers and streams exist. This is why we support the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project.

Editor’s Note: Richard Stern’s testimony was a valuable contribution to the discussion on the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline. Far too many people assume pipeline jobs go to folks from other states but, in fact, as he proves, they’re the same sort of skilled construction jobs that have always provided lifetime careers for local Teamsters and other union members. These are great jobs, they’re local and they’re only temporary in the sense that construction workers have always moved from job to job.

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13 thoughts on “Teamsters: Pipeline Projects Mean More Local Jobs

  1. This testimony states that “utilizing union contractors guarantees 50% of workers are local hires”. This presumes that the company is inclined to hire union workers.

    Union or not, all these jobs are temporary. Once the pipeline is built, these jobs vanish.

    • Every construction job is temporary with respect to a single project but that changes nothing with respect to the careers of constructions. It’s the same as being a consultant. Every assignment is temporary but I’ve doing assignments since 1977.

    • In addition to the fact that constructing the pipeline will mean jobs, which are temporary true enough, the benefits of the pipeline which include environmental ones will not be temporary “unreceive dogma”. I would suggest that you stop smoking the frack pipe as it causes cognition problems. You have unearthed absolutely nothing by describing construction jobs as temporary. People who are not high on the frack pipe should pick up on this just from the word “construction”, which I’m just going to guess you have zip zero nada experience with.

  2. Question: What do you mean by “local”…?
    are all the workers from the counties that are being invaded by this latest pipeline…..a web of pipelines arising in our counties ….?
    when you say the workers are all from Pennsylvania, are they from the counties being dug through, trees cut down, landowners invaded and some eminent domained..?
    what is the percentage of workers on this pipeline from the counties and towns on the path of the pipeline…?
    I find that the workers are minimally from the path of the pipelines, the towns and counties…and therefore, can not truly feel the depth of the invasiveness and intrusion of this pipeline..
    my definition of local is probably different from yours…
    the pipeline workers of present new pipelines in my county of shale intrusion are mostly from out of the county and out of the state when I asked workers and saw their license plates at the sites…
    can you guarantee in writing where these workers and locals are from and define your definition of “local” more definitely….
    we don’t need workers, welders, pipeline companies and diggers coming in from out of our county to mess with our county and make their money and live beyond our county or state as most do in Susquehanna County as they laid all the new pipe since 2008 to now…
    we are exposed to the risk locally and will continue to oppose these projects that don’t even employ our local, meaning county-resident folks to speak of…

    • Vera, if we all lived by your philosophy, we would cease to exist. Surely, you reap the benefits in your everyday life of the benefits provided by workers from all around the globe. If you think not, you need to think more deeply about this matter. “No man is an island.”

      When you travel to other states or counties other than your own to protest projects or events in those areas not your own, are you following your own tenants for not having outsiders intrude into your local area?

      I will find it much easier to take you and all the other pipeline/fossil fuel, or whatever infrastructure expansion, opponents seriously, when you all stop utilizing fossil fuel and everything else that fossil fuel makes possible and stop making excuses for not doing so.

    • Vera, most of your definitions are likely different from the ones in the dictionary is what I’m thinking at this point. Up is up and down is down for most of the rest of us who are not currently infected with frack fever. What you need is a debriefing of sorts as the frack fever is effecting your ability to think and reason clearly. I find it easy to recognize those infected with this ailment. For one thing they don’t comprehend that natural gas is not a more impactful fossil fuel than coal. Another telltale sign is incoherent gibberish about pipelines. A pipeline isn’t an invasive species Vera. Its largely, but not entirely, a steel cylinder buried at varying depths underground. NYC for example Vera has all kinds of pipeline including plastic operating at different pressures all over the place.

      When you lived on Long island Vera did you hear your home or cook with natural gas? How do you think it got to your home? Did you use electricty when you lived on Long Island?

      By the way Vera, long island is still on the Atlantic Ocean and it seems like your movement advocates for positions that will put it in more danger from sea level rise.

    • Vera Scroggins exporting her vitriol to counties and states beyond her’s. I am sure your neighbors would like to restrict your actions to your own organic chicken coop. So how do you appear in your campaigns of harassing the Natural Gas industry ? Does your broom run on fairy dust or are you normal using a Car fueled by what you rail against?

  3. Well maybe the teamsters and some other working people have something to say about this popular (most popular politician in the country I hear) politician, Bernie Sanders and his ban fracking agenda? According to josh fox and some organizers, there is the hope that Mr sanders will start his own party (apparently anti pipline activists like Jane Kleeb aren’t just satisfied taking over the democratic party in their own state) .


    Oh well hang on because the pipeline fighters are a force to be reckoned with says that guy from oil change international. Are the pipelines he is referring to oil? Well no. But why not get more pipeline fighters like Jane Kleeb in Nebraska installed in the democratic party? Hey vote for one of ourrevolution’s preferred candidates.

    Is there someone running for office in new jersey on a ban fracking in the drbc platform? Any politicians fighting Penn east pipeline? Probably. Didn’t they form some group? Like not this year?

  5. My name is Bill Eavenson I am Teamster Union Stewart I’m currently working on the Mariner East2 project 40 Teamsters out of 54 are from central Pennsylvania they all care about the land and they hunt fish and grow crops on in central Pennsylvania they know these projects are done safely and with little impact on the environment and waterways local farmers Amish communities and a lot of landowners welcome us an Amish community once had a picnic for us pipe liners on their Farm while performing work in the area most all farmers and landowners know how safely wework and protect the waterways and environment they welcomed us and have no problem with us being here working on Pipelines they know it’s for the good of the public including themselves only a few rejectors especially those anti pipeliners activist who are from out-of-state who come here to cause trouble along with a few others from in-state these are facts not fiction have a good day

  6. Pingback: Pipeline Jobs Are Real and Are Created Where the Action IsNatural Gas Now

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