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JanFeb_ 2010 Issue - Plumbers _


									             Piping Industry News
      Official Publication of Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 157 Terre Haute, Indiana
Volume 30 Number 1-2                                                                     January 13, 2010

              Christmas Bells Were Ringing

       (L to R) Aaron Schultz and Kyle Davis                  (L to R) Travis Lamar and Donny Nixon
                Thanks to 6 of Local 157 Apprentices who volunteered their time in the
                     Danville, Illinois area to “Ring the Bells” for the Salvation Army.
      Not pictured are Mike Wilson and Buddy Hoskins. Special thank you to all these Apprentices.


 Excellent Turn-Outs at the Terre Haute, Lafayette and Danville Retiree’s Christmas Luncheons

Page 2                                                   Piping Industry News                                         January 13, 2010

                                                       Business Manager’s Repor t
                                                                     Donnie Ritter

   By the time you receive this newspaper, another year will have come and gone. I know this has been a tough year for
 most of you, but 2010 should be a lot brighter.
  The Edwardsport project is starting to call for people and will continue to ramp up over the next few months.
   Work at Marathon will pick up as well, with people being hired over the next few weeks and again later this spring. But
 Webb, Greg and Darrek will give much greater details in their reports.
   As you may or may not know Duke Energy is requiring a pre-qualification weld test before welders are allowed to take
 the gate test for the Edwardsport project. Please do not take this as an insult to your craftmanship or ability to weld!
 There had been some issues with a previous gate test and the amount of negative results and Duke Energy was beginning
 to feel a little discouraged. Things are going very well now and results on both pre-qualifying and gate tests have
 drastically improved. Good job brothers and sisters! I think we all just needed to step back a minute and address the
 issue and solve it. If you feel the need to practice welding, call the Training Center in Terre Haute at (812) 877-1736 and
 Mike or Tom will work with you either in Terre Haute or with one of the Welding Instructors in Hutsonville, Danville or
 Lafayette to ensure that you are getting enough training time. Do NOT let your number on the out-of-work list discour-
 age you from coming in and pre-qualifying!
   As soon as the heavy wall pipe arrives in Terre Haute we will start pre-qualifying for that also.
  The Training Center will also be training end-prep as the coupons are prepared for pre-qualification and also heat-
 stress with our new Miller Heat Stress machine. These are positions that will be available as Contractors at Edwardsport
 man-up. Take advantage of these classes while you are off.
   I hope all of you have a safe and prosperous New Year! Remember with the inclement weather, to plan extra time to
 get where you are going and drive safely!

   PIPING INDUSTRY NEWS                                                          PLUMBERS & STEAMFITTERS LOCAL 157 OFFICERS
                                                                     Business Manager              - Donnie Ritter
                                                                     Financial Secretary/Treasurer - John “JB” Strange
           PRESIDENT - DONNIE RITTER                                 Business Agent                - Wilbur E. “Webb” Crouch, III
    SECRETARY/TREASURER - JOHN “JB” STRANGE                          Field Representatives         - Greg Thoennes, Darrek J Davis
                                                                     President                     - Bob Swearingen
            EDITOR - PATTI MESKIMEN                                  Vice President                - Michael Shaw
                                                                     Recording Secretary           - Mark “Friendly” Lindley
                                                                     Executive Board               - Jeff Ehrlich, Darrell Pickett, Jeff Lindley
      The Piping Industry News reserves the right to reject or                                       and Mike “Mac” Clements
     discontinue any material considered unfair to Local 157         Finance Committee             - Tom Huss, Kenny Thompson and Jeff
                     Official monthly publication of                                                  Montgomery
                  Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 157.                 Examining Board               - Charlie Wilde, Rich Cheever, Mark Swaner
                        Address all inquiries to:                                                    and Larry Drake
                        8801 E. Milner Avenue                        Inside Guard                  - Greg “Buffalo” Seward
                         Terre Haute, IN 47803
                             (812) 877-1531
January 13, 2010                                    Piping Industry News                                                      Page 3

                                                               Business Agent’s Report
                                                               Wilbur E. “Webb” Crouch, III

                                       As of this publication, we have 411 members unemployed with 103 being apprentices,
                                     47 members on travel jobs and 24 members on short term jobs.
                                       Our work situation is starting to rebound slowly with ICI hiring at Edwardsport weekly.
                                     We currently have a standing call on the jobline for combo welders to pre-qualify at the
                                     Training Center for this project. I STRONGLY URGE ALL WELDERS TO COME
                                     IN AND PRE-QUALIFY!!! ICI will be hiring 80 combo welders over the next 10
                                      Our gate test success rate on this project prior to the implementation of the pre-qualification
                                     test was running at 25%. With the pre-qualification test in place, our gate test acceptance
                                     rate is now 78% and our pre-qualification test rate is 73%. These numbers obviously
                                     reflect that the pre-qualification test has made a positive impact in our acceptance rates.
                                      At the December 17th Vermillion County Depot Reuse Authority meeting, I learned that
                                     all construction at the Newport Depot would be prevailing wage due to Government
                                     Funding. We are looking forward to working with whoever chooses to build on this site.
                                      We met with Graycor recently and completed a prejob on MP-3, 6 & 7. They currently
                                     have four of our members employed and their three bid packages will employ approximately
                                     190 pipefitters over the next 18 months.
                                       BMW was awarded the Water Treatment Package at Edwardsport a few weeks ago.
                                     When they get closer to mobilizing we will be meeting with them to complete the prejob.
                                      In closing I would like to wish you all a safe and prosperous New Year!

                        Field Representative’s Report
                                     Greg Thoennes
    Work in the northern half of the jurisdiction remains slow. Hopefully we will see some
  improvement by late spring. There continues to be several projects bidding at Purdue
  throughout this year, including the new Marriot Hall, the addition of a third tower for the
  First Street Towers Residence Hall, Warren Hall Renovation and the renovation and addition
  to the Student Wellness and Fitness Center. Later in the year they should begin the
  replacement of a boiler at the Power House. There are also several other school projects
  ongoing and the Wyandotte Elementary School should be getting underway as the weather
  improves. We also have some work at Attica High School that should start this summer.
  School Referendums have been a tough sell this past year and there is one scheduled for a
  vote on May 4 for the Rossville Consolidated School District. This is for a proposed $13.4
  million building renovation project. If you live in this school district which includes Clay
  Township in Carroll County and Ross and Owen Townships in Clinton County, please get
  involved and vote for this project. Evonik Degussa Corporation has assumed ownership of
  the Eli Lilly Tippecanoe Labs as of January 1, 2010. It does appear that we will be continuing
  with the Site Agreement between the Building Trades and Freitag Weinhardt that has been
  in place for the past 3 ½ years at this site. We expect work to improve there as the transition progresses.
     The ten week Union Counseling Program is scheduled to start on January 20th. This course about the Lafayette area
  community service programs is sponsored by the Northwest Central Labor Council and it’s on Wednesdays from 6pm to 9pm.
  This is a very worthwhile program and anyone interested in participating should call me to get registered.
    I want to thank the area retirees for their generous donations this year for the Indiana Veterans Home and the G.U.C.A
  Union Food Pantry. I also want to thank Steve Snyder and his apprentices for their food donations. We will continue to accept
  non-perishable food donations at the Lafayette office and anyone needing more information about the food pantry should
  contact me.
Page 4                                              Piping Industry News                                      January 13, 2010

                                                          Field Representative’s Report
                                                                   Darrek Davis

                                     The New Year has come and brought with it some much needed jobs. Over the last couple
                                  weeks we have seen a steady increase in hiring at Edwardsport. This is just a small fraction
                                  of the hiring that is right around the corner. Welders wanting to go to work for ICI are
                                  required to pass the pre-qualification test that are being conducted daily at the Terre Haute
                                  Training Center. We are encouraging any welder that is interested in working for ICI, even
                                  if you have not bid on a position on the jobline, to come and get the pre-qualification out of the
                                  way. This project is going to take every welder the Local has and with the low number of
                                  people that have been applying for the positions, we are going to have to start calling for
                                  travelers. This is very bittersweet, having this much work and having to get travelers before
                                  we have full employment.
                                    Freitag-Weinhardt was awarded the first mechanical package on Marathon’s MSAT project.
                                  This is the project that was bid open shop. My hat is off to Donnie Ritter for aggressively
                                  targeting this job and maintaining good working relationships with Marathon management. It
                                  is very good to see the membership’s money successfully secure work away from non-union
                                  contractors. Total manpower numbers have not been released on this package, but just
                                  guessing I would think it will be somewhere around 30 to 40. A lot of this will depend on how
                                  aggressive Marathon is going to be with the schedule.
                                    Gas Division work still remains very slow. Utility Companies budget cuts and self-performing
                                  their work will result in another slow year for gas distribution members.

                                      ary               eport
                               Secretar Treasurer’s Repor
                     Financial Secret ar y Treasurer’s Repor t
                                John “JB” Strange

   With the start of a new year, I would like to update everyone on paying union dues. Dues for Local
 157 members are the minimum provided in the United Association Constitution and shall be paid on
 a quarterly basis, as per Section 29 of our by-laws. Currently dues are $72 per calendar quarter due
 and payable on or before the first day of each quarter for that quarter.
   The reinstatement fee for being late on your dues payment is $50 and there is an additional $20 fee
 for any member who submits a bad check to the Local Union.
   The state unemployment agencies are also cracking down on union members having their dues
 paid up-to-date to be eligible to draw unemployment benefits.
   As you can see, not staying in good standing with the Local can add up quick, financially.
 There are several ways to check your dues status if you are uncertain. You can simply call the office and ask, or with the
 update to our jobline phone system, you can now verify your dues status after regular working hours by calling the jobline at
 (877) 967-5157 and log in with your U.A. card or social security number.
   You can also check your dues status by going to our website ( and entering your U.A. Card number as
 the username and your date of birth as your password in the following format… MMDDYYYY.
   Another dues issue that seems to be confusing for members close to retirement is the eligibility for free dues. Section 41 of
 our by-laws state: any member who has been in continuous good-standing for a period of 30 years with Local 157 (meaning,
 never having paid a reinstatement fee for late payment) and who is permanently retired from the trade shall be exempt from
 payment of dues.
   Furthermore, any member whose age and the continuous years of good standing with Local 157 add up to a total sum of 90
 or more are also exempt.
   There are several other good reasons to make sure your dues are current, these are just a few to keep in mind.
January 13, 2010                                           Piping Industry News                                             Page 5

                                                     In Memoriam
                                       It is with deep regret that we inform you of the passing
                                                      of the following Member(s)

Robert E. Bradley, a retired Gas Division Journeyman from Bement, Illinois passed away on December 9th, 2009. Robert was born on
October 3rd, 1935 and was initiated into the United Association on July 25th, 1969.

Harold W. Brinkley, a retired Building Trades Journeyman from Olney, Illinois passed away on December 8th, 2009. Harold was born on
July 28th, 1917 and was initiated into the United Association on July 19th, 1947.

David J. Hartley, a retired Building Trades Journeyman from Covington, Indiana passed away on November 21st, 2009. David was born
on January 27, 1941 and was initiated into the United Association on December 13th, 1968.

Donald E. Mills, a retired Building Trades Journeyman from Bridgeport, Illinois passed away on November 15th, 2009. Donald was born
on April 25th, 1945 and was initiated into the United Association on July 22nd, 1983.
Page 6                                              Piping Industry News                                   January 13, 2010

                                TECHNICAL TALK
                                 From the Educational Trust Department
                                  of Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 157

      Tom Huss                                                                                                    Mike Keltz
Assistant   Coordinator                                                                                      Training   Coordinat or

   The Training Department has been real busy due to the pre-qualification weld test that is currently being required by Duke
  Energy for the Edwardsport project. Anyone interested in taking the pre-qualification test should contact the Training Center
  at (812) 877-1736 and ask for Mike or Tom.
   The second semester apprenticeship classes resumed on January 4th, 2010, after a two week Christmas break and
  everything is going well. The Training Department will be holding an apprenticeship contest at the Terre Haute Training
  Center on Saturday, February 13th, 2010 starting at 8am Indiana time. The contest will determine the winners of the
  plumber, pipefitter, welder and hvac service tech to see who will be going to the state apprenticeship contest being held at
  Local 136 in Evansville, Indiana on March 23rd and 24th of 2010. The winners of the state contest will then go to a regional
  contest that will be held in Washington D.C. with the winners from there advancing to the finals that are held in Ann Arbor,
  MI at the same time as the Instructor Training program. Any apprentice can compete in the Local 157 contest, however
  because of the rules; an apprentice can only compete in the state contest one time.
   The next UA weld test is February 20th , 2010 at the Terre Haute Training Center if there is enough interest and then again
  on March 20th , 2010. If you need a UA weld test for other than those dates please contact the Training Center and we will
  try to get you into a sister local so that you can test. Also, we now have the heavy wall pipe for the hot weld evaluation, so
  please contact the Training Center if you want to become hot weld pre-qualified.
   The Tri Tool certification and Miller Induction certification classes have started and if we get enough interest we will hold
  more classes. Also, if anyone needs an OSHA 10 hour certification please contact the Training Center.
   I would like to remind everyone that the 3rd semester classes begin on March 1st, 2010.
   January 31st, 2010 is the last day that an apprentice application can be requested and February 15th, 2010 is the deadline
  for returning the apprentice application to the Training Center for processing.

   201           PRIMARY             ORMATION
                                               NO-EXCUSE ABSENTEE VOTING
  ♦         A recent change in the law allows a registered voter to request and vote an absentee ballot without
            specifying a reason for the 2010 Primary Election Date on February 2, 2010.
  ♦         A registered voter can obtain an application to vote absentee by mail or in person at their County Clerk’s
            Office or Election Authority.
  ♦         A registered voter can vote absentee in person at their County Clerk’s Office or Authority beginning
            December 24, 2009 until February 1, 2010.
  ♦         A registered voter may apply to their County Clerk or Election Authority to vote absentee by mail:
                                                            24,        to January 27, 201
            ~ in the United States from December 24, 2009 t o Januar y 27, 2010
                                                                 24,         to January
            ~ outside the United States from December 24, 2009 to Januar y 2, 2010        201
                      For a list of County Clerks and Election Authorities visit
                                          or call the Illinois AFL-CIO at (217) 544-4014

                              YOU NO L ONGER NEED AN EX CUSE TO V OTE ABSENTEE
                                     LONGER          EXCUSE TO VO
January 13, 2010                                   Piping Industry News                                              Page 7

                                                              Tim Thacker
                                                          Administrative Manager

                During the months of November and December 2009, your Health and Welfare Plan staff
             processed 14,295 claims, totaling $4,667,858.58.
                  In this article, I would like to state some important rules concerning the Plan’s Medicare
             Supplement Benefits.
                       All coverage except Death, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, Prescription Drug
                     Benefits and Medicare Supplemental Benefits shall cease as of the date an Eligible Employee
                     or Dependent becomes eligible for hospital and medical insurance under Social Security
                     Medicare whether or not the individual is enrolled in the program. (This provision applies
                     only to expenses incurred on or after the date the person becomes eligible for Medicare).
                       For purposes of making it clear what this means, if the individual qualifies for Medicare
                     coverage for either hospital or physician services, and the individuals does not enroll in
                     Medicare, the claims under this Plan shall be calculated as if the individual had enrolled in
                     both Part A and B of Medicare and benefit limits shall be restricted by the regular rules of
                     the Plan and shall be reduced by any payments which would have been made by Medicare
                     regardless of the fact that the individual is not enrolled in the program.
                       Medicare has three relevant parts - Hospital Insurance (Part A), Medical Insurance
                     (Part B) and Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D). Part A covers Inpatient Hospital care
                     and generally is available to all individuals over age 65 at no cost. Part B covers Physician
                     services, Outpatient Hospital services and other medical supplies and is optional. Part D
                     covers prescription drugs and is also optional. A Medicare participant must pay a monthly
                     premium for Parts B and D. The Plan coordinates expenses covered under Medicare
                     Parts A and B only. It does not coordinate with medicare Part D. The below paragraphs
                     refer to coordination with Parts A and B only. A Plan participant or beneficiary who enrolls
                     for Medicare Part D will no longer be eligible for prescription drug coverage under this
                     Plan, as of the date of the Part D enrollment. If a Plan participant or beneficiary does not
                     enroll in Medicare Pare D their prescriptions are covered under the Plan’s prescription
                     drug benefit.
                       Since payments will be coordinated with Medicare, the Explanation of Medicare Benefits
                     (EOMB), must be sent to the Plan Office along with the expenses before any payment will
                     be made by the Plan. Medicare Coordination of Benefits shall apply to retired and disabled
                     employees and SHALL NOT apply to a working, active member who maintains eligibility
                     based upon employer contributions even though eligible for Medicare. In the case of a
                     retired or disabled member who remains eligible under the Plan based upon Reserve credits
                     and who is also eligible for Medicare, the Plan will be primary and Medicare will be
                       The Plan shall pay only what Medicare does not pay only after the Plan Deductible
                     Amount is met, only if the expenses are covered under the Plan and provided further; that
                     no more shall be payable than the covered services described in the Plan for eligible
                     Employees and eligible dependents eligible for Medicare. The Plan shall pay all deductible
                     amounts required by Medicare when the eligible member or dependent is initially hospitalized
                     and after the Plan deductible has been met. The Plan shall pay no benefits for charges
                     incurred over or above the prevailing reserve days established by Medicare.
Page 8   Piping Industry News   January 13, 2010
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Page 12                                                  Piping Industry News                                                  January 13, 2010

                                                                                  Plumbers & Steamfitters #157                          Non-Profit Org.
                                                                                  PIPING INDUSTRY NEWS                                 U.S. Postage Paid
                                                                 Snow             8801 E Milner Avenue                                     Permit #8
                                                                   is             Terre Haute, IN 47803                                 Indianapolis, IN

          NEXT UNION                                             here!            ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
           MEETING                                             Carefully!

  Monthly Union Meeting                                                           Dated Material Do Not Delay
  Friday, February 5th at
   8:00 pm in the Terre
    Haute Meeting Hall

     Monthly Union
Friday, March 5th at 8:00
  pm in the Terre Haute
       Meeting Hall                                                            Serving Union Families Since 1981

                         LOCAL 1 57                                          LOCAL UNION OFFICE........................(812) 877-1531
                                                                              TOLL FREE ..........................................(866) FREE157

                           UNION                                              JOBLINE............................................. (877) WORK157
                                                                              FAX......................................................(812) 877-4450

                         DIRECT OR Y                                                      OFFICE EXTENSION NUMBERS
                                                                                Donnie Ritter..................................................... 202
                                                                                JB Strange......................................................... 207
            MAILING ADDRESSES                                                   Webb Crouch.................................................... 208
      MAIN OFFICE......................8801 E. Milner Avenue                    Greg Thoennes ................................................ 228
                                      Terre Haute, IN 47803                     Darrek Davis .................................................... 204
      LAFAYETTE OFFICE.................2555 S. 30th Street                      Mike Keltz.... .................................................... 214
                                         Lafayette, IN 47909                    Tom Huss........................................................... 215
      DANVILLE OFFICE.............2100 Oakwood Avenue                           Training Office................................................... 211
                                                                                Patti Meskimen................................................ 206
                                          Danville, IL 61832
                                                                                Georgie Martin.................................................. 200
                                                                                Sandy Reece..................................................... 220
                                       Hutsonville, IL 62433
      FRINGE BENEFIT OFFICE....................P.O. Box 369                  LAFAYETTE OFFICE............................(765) 477-7092
                                       Terre Haute, IN 47878                                                     FAX (765) 477-6587
    HEALTH & WELFARE PLAN...................P.O. Box 3040                    ROBINSON OFFICE............................(618) 569-5231
                                      Terre Haute, IN 47803                                                      FAX..(618) 569-9601
                                                                             DANVILLE OFFICE..............................(217) 446-3300
  Officer’s and Staff e-mail Addresses                                                                           FAX..(217) 446-1484
              Donnie Ritter -                           HEALTH & WELFARE.......................(812) 877-2581
               JB Strange -                                    TOLL FREE ......................(800) 837-5678
             Webb Crouch -                                                                FAX..(812) 877-4542
           Greg Thoennes -                           T.H. TRAINING CTR. ......................... (812) 877-1736
              Darrek Davis -                                                               FAX..(812) 877-4552
          Patti Meskimen -                         HUTSONVILLE TRAINING CENTER ....(618) 563-4097
              Sandy Reece -                                                                FAX..(618) 563-4149
            Georgie Martin -                         UNION ADVANCEMENT FUND..........(812) 877-3588
           Local Union -                                                                      FAX..(812) 877-2438

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