Union Protests Hiring of Non-Locals for Pipeline Jobs

A local labor union in Ohio protested Spectra's employment of non-locals to repair pipelines in their community.

from the Dayton Daily News article:

"The local affiliate of Laborers’ International Union of North America rallied Tuesday on Cincinnati-Dayton Road to bring attention to what it says is Spectra Energy’s practice of outsourcing construction work and neglecting Ohio’s local workforce.

More than 50 people protested in Middletown near pipeline work that Texas-based Spectra Energy Partners contracted out to Mississippi-based MG Dyess, according to the Ohio Laborers’ District Council.

“Their whole workforce is comprised of guys from the southeast and southwest portion of the country,” said Mike Engbert, a Laborers’ District Council representative. “They don’t hire regionally, they don’t hire locally. It’s strictly company guys. They don’t make any effort when they come up here to work with local tradesman.”

The recently started pipeline rehabilitation work will likely last 30 to 35 days and replace a line under Interstate 75, one that is 24 inches in diameter and stretches from Ohio to Louisiana, according to Ray Hipsher, of Franklin, an Ohio Laborers’ District Council pipeline specialist.

They also are replacing a small section of pipe between the Great Miami River and a nearby railroad line, Hipsher said.

The 40 or 50 jobs MG Dyess likely needed for the projects could have been filled by qualified local residents, helping them and boosting the local economy, according to Mario Cespedes, a Laborers’ District Council representative.

“The local Laborers’ International Union has the people who are ready, trained, willing to do this work, but unfortunately some contractors and some owners are unwilling to incentivize their contracts to hire locally,” Cespedes said. “They don’t have any requirements (to do so).”