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January 4, 2021
January 2021 Newsletter


By Richard E. Dalton, Business Manager

Happy New Year! Let us hope for a better year in 2021 than the previous year. There is light at the end of the tunnel with a COVID-19 vaccination just being delivered to the American people. It will be several months until enough doses are available for everyone who wants to be vaccinated, so we need to be patient a while longer. Continue to socially distance and wear your masks until health officials give the all-clear signal.

Labor History classes will be starting in February. This year the classes will be reserved for the first-year apprentices and new members to accommodate the room capacity. Michael Bertolone and Jason Baker will once again conduct the classes. The program details union struggles through the years; it evolves into current events that affect our lives as union members and explains your union’s structure.

Beginning in March, the one-night steward refresher classes will begin. Joe Casto will conduct the refresher class in each of the districts. The class will outline the duties of stewards and will detail the grievance process in the statewide agreements. Refer to the calendar for the date of the steward class in your district. Class sizes will be limited, so call your district office and get signed up.

During these winter months, stop by your regional training site and check out the facilities. There are numerous classes and programs available to update your certifications and skills. The training site staff is available six days a week to meet the needs of the membership. If you think of other programs that would be of interest, let the staff know so they can research the feasibility of conducting the programs.

In the spring, we will begin preparations for negotiations for the statewide OCA and AGC agreements. If you have any suggestions you would like to be considered for negotiations, please let my office or your district office know. We maintained all the proposals from last year and will include those in these upcoming negotiations.

The large pipeline projects Local 18 has had over the past ten years are starting to come to an end. Large-diameter pipe and long stretches are all but completed. There will be some smaller diameter pipeline projects, and there continues to be an extensive amount of pipeline distribution work ahead. We were fortunate to have had the many projects that ran through Ohio.

In Ashtabula, Ohio, Petmin Group has begun the Nodular Pig Iron Plant construction, which will be similar to the Cleveland Cliffs project in Toledo. This is the new construction of a facility to create nodular pig iron used in the metal castings industry. The project is scheduled for three years and includes the plant’s construction and new access roads to and from the site. The project is being built under the Building Agreement.

As we roll into 2021, ODOT work will continue to be the primary employment provider for the members. ODOT has a relatively aggressive schedule of work to complete this year. We have been informed that while the projects will be smaller in size, there will be more of them, and thus more contractor involvement. It is expected that we will experience a downturn in the private market, with COVID-19 stay-at-home orders requiring more remote workforces and remote school education. Those industries are spending less on upgrades to their facilities. Last year, our smaller contractors that relied on private work had to venture out into new markets to stay in business, and they will need to continue to do that for 2021.

As we head into 2021, the Officers and Staff of Local 18 wish each of you a happy and prosperous New Year! It is a pleasure and an honor to serve the membership.

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