Enbridge’s Line 5 in northern Wisconsin will be built by a trained union workforce. Four unions along with Wisconsin-based contractor Michels Pipeline Inc. and Enbridge Inc. announced the signing of a project labor agreement (PLA) for the pipeline relocation that will create 700 family-supporting construction jobs.
Gathering at the Steamfitters Local 601 Training Center in Madison, representatives from the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA), along with Wisconsin-based Michels Pipeline Inc. and Enbridge, announced their commitment to build the Enbridge Line 5 Wisconsin Segment Relocation Project together.
“What do you do when you need a job done well, when you have the highest safety standards, strictest requirements and some of the most important work to do? You hire union – that’s what you do,” said Senator Janet Bewley. “And then what do you do when there’s mutual respect between employer and the working population? You have a PLA.”
“We’ve been operating here in Wisconsin for over 70 years, and we highly value all of the relationships that we’ve made over those seven decades. We’re proud to be here with the Laborers, Operators, Teamsters and Pipefitters to sign the PLA,” said Leo Golden, Enbridge Vice President.
Added Dan Olson, LiUNA International Rep and Business Manager, Local 1091: “We are here to help build the safest project for the safest way to transport oil.”
“I can tell you that we wouldn’t have been chosen for this project if it wasn’t for our safety record, our quality, our social governance,” said Bob Osborn President of Michels. “We’ve been working with Enbridge for almost 20 years. We’ve built over 1,400 miles of pipeline for Enbridge across the United States. So, we’re even more excited to be a part of this project in Wisconsin.”
Enbridge is re-routing a segment of Line 5 to meet the request of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians to move the pipeline off their reservation. An estimated $46 million will be spent specifically with Native-owned businesses and communities – training and hiring Native American workers, who will make up 10% of the project workforce.
Agreements have been reached with 100% of private landowners along the 41-mile re-route, chosen because it minimizes environmental impacts and protects critical resources. The pipeline is a vital link to propane and other energy supplies for the upper Midwest. Construction will move forward once all necessary permits are received.
Five years of training. A six-figure salary. Zero debt. It all starts inside of a 25,000 square foot facility in Milwaukee, where hundreds of students study and train to become the backbone for the city’s infrastructure.