Union Protests Dominion Transmission in WV Over Lack of Local Workers in Building Pipelines

A local union in West Virginia is set to protest natural gas transmission facilities owned by Dominion over the issue of jobs and out-of-state workers being brought in to build new pipelines in the Wetzel County.

West Virginia construction workers are upset that Dominion Transmission has decided to hire people from other states to work on pipelines to transmit natural gas from local Marcellus Shale operations.

Dominion hired Holloman Corp., based in Texas, to work on new pipelines in Wetzel County in West Virginia. Instead of using local workers, Holloman is importing workers from Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

The Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation, which has supported Marcellus Shale development as a promising source of jobs, has organized four protests in front of Dominion Transmission facilities — in Harrison, Wetzel, Marshall and Ohio counties.*

Dominion says they’ve contracted with Holloman because the pipeline construction is specialized and special skills are needed to build the pipelines. Affiliated Construction Trades says that’s bunkum and that out-of-state workers buy food and stay in hotels and the rest of their money goes to their home states, muting the economic benefit that could be had by using local WV workers.

*The Charleston Gazette (May 24, 2011) – Union says Marcellus jobs should go to W.Va. workers

  • Elizabeth

    All of their jobs are specialized.  That’s why it is considered a lie when they assert that it will bring a lot of good paying jobs to the area when they arrive to drill or build pipelines.  Maybe if you can make a living wage at the 7-11 that serves the crew during their lunch hour, that must be what they are considering a good job they bring to the area.  

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  • Anonymous

    Most if not all of the pipeline contractors use UNION Pipeliner crews from around the country. Just like the Union Boilermakers and Pipefitters build power plants wherever they are. I know of a local pipeline company getting work in the Marcellus and 1) he is union and 2) he had to hire from outside WV to get qualified people. The Pipeliner Union determines who gets the jobs by seniority just like the ACT.

  • Anonymous

    Anytime a pipeline comes into an area, that area does better. We use the local businesses, lodging, and resturants. It’s a shame that areas we’ve been in awhile do large and unreasonable price increases on products and services. This is not like working at your local walmart or Mcdonald’s, we need skilled, experienced people working these jobs to secure the safety of other workers and people around the jobsites especially when working around “hotlines” which are live, active gas lines. It’s dangerous work, and probably more so in Pennsylvania and West Virginia where on almost a daily basis we run into gas lines that are not recorded but yet still in operation. Some of which were installed in the early 1900’s. Would you really want a inexperienced operator digging a ditch line within 100 yards of your family home ? I surely wouldn’t!

  • Anonymous

    I’m in agreement that there must be qualified Machine Operators and Pipe Fitters to perform these duties. But with the boom going on in PA, OH, WV, are there enough of these non local workers to fill all those positions? There must be local hiring and training going on. There are many qualified  local construction workers out of jobs that could easily be trained to do this type of work. How did you get your job? I’m sure you had to get training also. When digging a  construction site  there is always a possibility of hitting something. Where I come from there are utility locators that use metal detectors just for that reason. Even so, there still are lines cut occasionally . A gas pipeline not recorded can be easily found by these locators prior to digging. The Unions need to hire local people to work along with the skilled non locals. It makes financial sense to do that  and also bolsters more community support. 

  • I thought there was pipeline unions in WV.

  • I thought there was pipeline unions in WV. there was when I left in 1986 cause I couldn’t get a job because I wasn’t in a union and I couldn’t join the union because I didn’t have a job.
    Is WV. going non-union?

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  • Anonymous

    Both union and nonunion pipeline projects are taking place in WV. The drilling boom is shifting to a pipeline boom to get the gas/oil to market. Now is the best time to get new membership or an apprentice position with many of the union crafts. The amount of projects will soon have the union’s recruiting new members.