February 2016, Vol. 71 No. 2


PLCA President Expects Strong Near-Term Construction Market

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

PLCA Frank WelchIt was business as usual in 2015 for the Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA) and its contractor members, said the association’s president, Frank Welch.

“However, we believe that’s going to change,” said Welch. “We’re expecting a boom in 2016, and most members are getting ready for it, probably about mid-year. We also anticipate heavy workloads through 2017 and 2018.”

Welch’s observations come as he completes his term as PLCA president. The association’s annual convention will be held Feb. 23-27 in Scottsdale, AZ.

A primary responsibility of the PLCA is negotiating labor agreements and administering labor contracts with the international unions representing the crafts involved in pipeline construction. Over the past year, rates were negotiated and contracts executed with the four crafts of employees involved in pipeline construction – Laborers International Union of North America, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters and the International Union of Operating Engineers. The contracts are in effect until June 2017.

A year ago, one of the goals was to work with the four pipeline unions to ensure there will be enough trained craft workers for the large amount of work that is expected in 2016 and beyond.

“We’ve done that throughout the year,” Welch said. “We’ll soon see how good a job we did when work picks up in midyear 2016.”

The association continues to work with unions to develop project labor agreements to ensure that qualified labor is available to construct quality pipeline projects on schedule and within budget.

Welch expects much of the new work will be in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida the Northeast and some in the Dakotas.


Other PLCA activities continue to flourish as including the PLCA scholarship program which has had a major positive impact on the industry. Also, the PLCA Newsletter is published weekly and provides an in-depth and comprehensive update of PLCA and industry news.

Welch is president of the Rockford Corp., Hillsboro, OR, an oil and gas pipeline construction contractor. He will wrap-up his PLCA president duties in February at PLCA’s annual meeting. Taking over as president will be Bernie Bermack, general manager, PE Ben USA, Houston, a pipeline transportation and logistics company.

The PLCA was formed in 1948 to assist its members with safety
programs and labor relations. The association has been negotiating labor agreements and administering labor contracts since 1949.

PLCA offices are in Dallas, TX. J. Patrick Tielborg is managing director and general counsel. Information about the association and its programs are on its web site, www.plca.org, or by calling (214) 969-2700.

Related Articles

From Archive


{{ error }}
{{ comment.comment.Name }} • {{ comment.timeAgo }}
{{ comment.comment.Text }}