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Local 11 completes turnaround at Conoco Phillips Refinery

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A new regenerator head at the Conoco Phillips Refinery in Billings, Mont., is lifted into place during a plant-wide shutdown.

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Local 11 Boilermakers are working the day shift at a plant-wide shutdown at the Conoco Phillips Refinery in Billings, Mont.

Exceptional craftsmanship may lead to more work for union members

MEMBERS OF FOUR Boilermaker lodges have completed a turnaround at the Conoco Phillips Refinery in Billings, Mont., that left company officials rethinking their nonunion stance.

The company was so impressed by the performance of workers from one of the few union contractors on site that they invited the building trades’ members to a dinner.

Working for Construction Turnaround Services Inc. (CTS) of Tulsa, Okla., members of Local 11 (Helena, Mont.), Local 592 (Tulsa, Okla.), Local 627 (Phoenix), and the NTL completed the turnaround in April. Pre-turnaround work started in Nov. 2006, and included building a new FCC (“Cat”) regenerator head with cyclones. Members also put a third-stage recovery system (flue gas scrubber) on the “Cat.”

Running two shifts, the Boilermakers worked a total of 42,492 man-hours without a recordable accident and very few first-aid incidents. The project — the only union Boilermaker job during the plant-wide shutdown — was completed under budget and ahead of schedule.

Local 11 President Robert Winger credits their success to “the great efforts by our union hall and good cooperation from Conoco and CTS.”

He said, “Conoco was so impressed by the craftsmanship and professional attitude of the Boilermakers that they invited the building trades to a dinner. This impressive finish on a job with adverse weather and a very aggressive schedule has put the Conoco leadership at this refinery taking a more positive look at union contractors,” Winger said. “Their reasoning is that we do it right the first time and have such good productivity that even though our wage package is higher than the nonunion crews, they feel we are actually cheaper. I want the men to know they did a fine job, not only for themselves and Local 11, but for the cause of advancing union work.”

Published on the Web: September 20, 2007

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