INTER-UNION GAS CONFERENCE KEEPS ALL EYES ON
“SAFE PIPELINES, SAFE COMMUNITIES”
Local 1245 had something unique to contribute to the 2011 Inter-Union Gas Conference, held Oct. 3-6 in Reno, NV. Among the conference participants were Local 1245 members Brad Schuback, one of the PG&E employees recognized for heroic behavior in responding to the deadly San Bruno explosion of 2010, and Local 1245 Business Representative Debbie Mazzanti, who served on the National Transportation Safety Board panel that investigated that explosion. The conference theme was “Safe Pipelines, Safe Communities.”
Schuback, a Measurement and Control Mechanic, and Mazzanti led the panel discussion on “Gas Explosions and Pipeline Safety, along with PG&E Gas Crew Foreman Mike Scafani, PG&E Work and Resource Coordinator Keith Hopp, and PG&E Gas Mechanic Joe Joaquim. Also participating was Mark McDonald of the New England Gas Workers Alliance.
Each Local 1245 member brought a particular area of expertise to the panel discussion. Scafani is knowledgable about historical staffing levels at PG&E as well as issues relating to PG&E mapping and document history. Schuback brought a first-hand knowledge of the San Bruno explosion and the IBEW members who were among the first responders to it. Keith Hopp brought his knowledge of the Arbuckle incident, and the failure of documentation and mapping that contributed to it. Joe Joaquim is acquainted with the welding on Line 132, the gas transmission line that failed at San Bruno. Mazzanti brought her knowledge of the cause of the San Bruno explosion, based on her service on the NTSB panel.
The conference featured workshops on Clerical, Distribution, Service, and Transmission/Storage and Production issues. Other workshops covered a variety of current union topics including “What to Look for in an Investment Advisory Firm,” the “Health Care Affordability Act,” and a panel discussion on Fringe Benefits.
Local 1245 members attending the conference, in addition to those listed above, were Bryan Carroll, PG&E; Darin Perna, TransCanada; Ron Fort, PG&E; and Adam Weber, NV Energy.