Teamsters National Pipeline Training Fund
The Northeast Supply Enhancement or NESE pipeline project means more jobs for highly trained Teamsters, allies in developing our nation’s infrastructure.
(The following is Richard stern’s testimony submitted to FERC on behalf of the Teamsters National Pipeline Labor Management Cooperation Trust representing over 100 contributing Union Pipeline Contractors affiliated with the Pipeline Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters with over 1.25 million members all who support the construction of the NESE pipeline project.)
The Teamsters and their signatory contractors are committed to building this project with well-trained and qualified local workers who can perform their work at a high level to help mitigate any potential environmental concerns.
These workers have a vested interest in building this project in an environmentally safe manner since their own families could be affected by this project. By utilizing union contractors to build the “Project” it guarantees that 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.”
Therefore, when a pipeline such as this “Project” is built using local union labor; the majority of pipeline construction workers will be from the local community and have a greater sensitivity for the environment. These workers have an incentive building the “Project” environmentally safe because again they live here too. Thus, any negative environmental impact will be lessened. You do not get this guarantee with a nonunion pipeline contractor.
We have pipeline contractors who specialize in Horizontal Directional Drilling (HOD) type of work. HOD 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.
Prior to the construction of this “Project,” we will provide Classroom training programs based on the U.S. Department Transportation’s Regulations on “Compliance, Safety and Accountability” (CSA) 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.
Under pages 6 and 7 in the collective bargaining agreement workers must have certain qualifications prior to working on this project. Under pages 17 and 18 of the Pipeline Agreement is the language on “Drug and Alcohol Testing” to ensure a drug free work environment and “Training/DOT Rules” to maintain high quality work standards and qualifications. For your ready-reference we have provided brochures detailing information about our Training Program and our support Veterans who will be working on the “Project.”
We believe that if this “Project” is being constructed with our trained and highly skilled local union workers and specialized union contractors the “Project” will be built in a safe and environmentally friendly manner and in compliance with all federal and state environmental regulations.
Furthermore, this “Project” if built using Teamster members will provide them with high wages and health insurance and pension benefits. Our commitment to using local Teamster workers is noted by our Job Fair held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on October 6 – 7, 2017. Additionally, we have provided a 3-year summary of our training of local Teamster members especially in Pennsylvania who work in the pipeline industry.
In closing, we support the building of the “Project” based upon this written submission and its supporting exhibits which show the use of union contractors and locally trained union labor will help mitigate any environmental and work quality concerns.
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