Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Teamsters fight for good jobs, then train members to do them right

Teamster pipeliners
The Teamsters Union is helping members get pipeline construction jobs because they are good American jobs. They pay a fair wage for a hard day's work, provide benefits and give workers a chance to build a better life for themselves and their children.

Teamsters have helped build more than 25,000 miles of pipeline with union contractors. On one job, a contractor may have more than 100 trucks to deliver pipe, sand and gravel. Suppliers need trucks to deliver propane, ready mix, fuel oil and steel. They need trucks to remove waste as well.

Pipeline contractors prefer union labor because (a) it's the best and (b) they known they'll have harmony on the job. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters identified pipeline projects and then advised locals on how to approach suppliers and how to unionize their work forces. The IBT also trained Teamster members to do specific jobs and get certified on them. In Minnesota, Teamster Local 346's principal officer Pat Radzak met with the Ready Mix company. He told them they could get two months of work if they had union workers on the job. The Teamsters organized and Ready Mix got what was promised.

Teamsters have worked on pipelines in the East, on pipelines in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. They've worked on them throughout the Midwest and in the Rocky Mountains. They've worked on the Florida Gas and Tiger pipeline that goes through Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida. They've also worked on the Ruby Project, a pipeline traversing Oregon, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.

Teamsters have been fighting hard for approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will create many more good-paying pipeline jobs.

Now, Teamsters Local 891 and Teamsters Local 991 will sponsor a pipeline training program in Lucedale, Miss., on Aug. 10. Teamster drivers who take the training will learn about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new regulations to reduce accidents.

Drivers need to understand the new federal regulation. Violations under the new rule could follow drivers from workplace to workplace. The training will help Teamsters protect their driving records -- and potential future employment as a driver.

The training is free, but you have to sign up. If you're interested, call Rex Creel (601) 624-4296 (Local 891) or Jesse Braggs (251) 408-1393 (Local 991).

The training isn't just for Teamsters who work on pipelines, but for all commercial drivers. For more information, click here.