May 2021
SSMRC provides mental-wellness resources
Millwrights are part of a high-demand, high-stress industry. Construction workers are SIX TIMES more likely to die by suicide than in a workplace accident, and millwrights have the second HIGHEST suicide rate of all construction trades. At a rate of 78 suicides per 100,000 workers, millwrights have almost double the construction industry’s rate of 43.5 suicides per 100,000 workers and are FIVE TIMES more likely to die by suicide compared to the general population.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, the SSMRC is teaming up with Domain Wellness Partners to provide information, tips, and guidance to help members stay strong mentally and live more satisfying and fulfilling lives. The framework for the information and resources we’re offering is a set of mental-wellness domains.

Click the button below to learn about the eight domains – and stay tuned as we provide more information about each one throughout the month of May.
SSMRC millwrights play critical role in reopening Limetree Bay refinery after nearly 10-year shutdown
Thanks to years of work by hundreds of millwrights from the Southern States Millwright Regional Council, the Limetree Bay refinery in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, began producing transportation fuel again in February 2021, after an almost-decade-long shutdown. Work to bring the plant back online wrapped up the week of April 26, and millwrights are transitioning to long-term maintenance roles.

“Millwrights were tasked with inspecting all equipment, finding deficiencies, and repairing them,” said Logan Brown, director of the SSMRC’s Eastern Region. “It was a massive job.”

A military veteran and race-car driver, April Crownhart-Swan loves her job and strives for balance in all areas of her life.
When April Crownhart-Swan was 7 years old, she told her mother she was going to be a racecar driver and a union member. She has accomplished both goals. Crownhart-Swan is a member of Millwright Local 1263 in Georgia and has been a union millwright for 15 years. She says her job’s pay and flexible work schedule has helped her pursue her other goal of owning and driving a jet funny car.

Read more about Crownhart-Swan here.
Western Region
Work across the Western Region is still going strong. We have continued to work several power-generation projects in each local’s jurisdiction, and we will soon begin our first wind-turbine-maintenance project in South Texas. We have ongoing and emergent work in the petrochemical industry across the Gulf Coast, keeping our members busy in that area. We have ongoing work at Tesla in Austin and Toyota in San Antonio as well. We have also recently started back to work at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and we are working on a new project at Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City. It appears that work will remain steady as we head into the summer months.
Central Region
2021 is looking to be busy, and prosperous times are ahead of us. This outage season went well. Much of the industry's work that was postponed during the COVID pandemic has come back to reality.
Millwrights are in high demand. If you are available, please reach out to your business agent and put yourself on the out-of-work list. If you are traveling outside of your home local jurisdiction for work, check in with the local that has jurisdiction where you are procuring work. Please take advantage of all opportunities to enhance your skill sets (for example: forklift, welding, aerial lift, rigging) through the training department.
As always, let's do things right the first time, on time, every time while being safe, professional, and productive!
Local 1192:
  • In Huntsville, Alabama, the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing project is ramping down in some plant areas.
  • The PSC Crane & Rigging project at the Toyota Mazda facility has kicked off and will last approximately two months.
  • A Power Techniques project within the Peabody mines is coming to an end and without a hitch.
  • APM and Day & Zimmerman projects have kicked off at Plant Miller.
  • Mammoet has kicked off a project at the Destin Airport. This is a new opportunity for Local 1192 and is going well with no issues.
  • McAbee Construction and Siemens projects at Plant Ratcliffe are well underway.
  • Siemens has kicked off a project at Plant Hillabee.
Local 1554:
  • Atlantic Plant Maintenance is gearing up for a 30-day project at the John Sevier plant.
  • Hayes Mechanical has kicked off a project at TVA Kingston.
  • IICC is currently ramping up at GM.
  • Ethos Energy has started a project at TVA Southaven.
  • Universal Plant Services has ramped up for Matsuo Industries.
  • S&H Erectors has kicked off a project at Southern Cellulose.
Eastern Region
Local 2411:
  • Milton J. Wood has its regulars working various jobs around town as well as pursuing more work.
  • W.W. Gay is working on various projects around Jacksonville. The company is working an outage at DS Smith in Riceboro.
  • J. Williams is holding onto a few members for small projects it has running.
  • One-day outages for WestRock in Fernandina and Eastport are picking back up weekly.
  • Coker has its regulars busy and is picking up various small projects.
  • Atlas continues its outage at MCC (can plant).
  • APM and Siemens continue their outage at Gainesville.
  • Cogburn Bros. has slowed down on the millwright side.
Local 1263:
  • Vulcan is working an outage at Plant Bowen.
  • Cleveland is getting ready for spring work at the Budweiser Brewery in Rome, Georgia.
  • McAbee is working a spring outage at International Paper in Rome, Georgia. 
  • CR Meyer needs people at the new Macon paper mill.
  • Siemens is performing outage work at HF Lee Power Plant in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
  • HF Teichmann is still performing work at the NSG glass plant in Laurinburg, North Carolina.
  • Siemens is performing outage work at Cleveland County Power in North Carolina.
  • CCI is moving an automation line at the Continental plant in Fletcher, North Carolina.
Local 1000:
  • We signed a new contractor, JKF Maintenance, which will be going after food-and-beverage work as well as general maintenance in our local plants and facilities.
  • We have been working power-generation jobs with SGS, APM, Airco and TOPS Field Services.
  • UPS is still working at Limetree Bay refinery in St. Croix. We are always looking for experienced compressor millwrights for full-time maintenance at this facility.
  • Western Industrial is working on a FedEx project at Miami Airport.
  • Western Industrial is also working on another FedEx Ground facility in Miami.
  • Western Industrial is going to work at a UPS facility in Miami Gardens. This job will last a week for three millwrights.
  • We are still working on the Miami Transit project with Sissco Hoist.
  • We are working in Orlando Airport with Commercial Contracting Corporation.
  • Vanderlande is going to self-perform the next phase at Orlando Airport and use union members with UTS.
  • We are also working at Miami and Ft. Lauderdale airports with Jordim.
  • We are working in the phosphate industry with Central Maintenance, Gulf Coast Industrial, and Preferred Maintenance. There is an ongoing need for millwrights with phosphate-mine cards.
  • A&B maintenance work at Gopher Recycling is ongoing.
  • Superior Rigging has a job at Florida Can. We are installing a new can line.
Nuclear Office
The last three outages of a successful spring season are winding down and should be completed by the time you receive this newsletter. To review, there were 10 scheduled outages and one emergent at Grand Gulf, which we covered on short notice. Once again, the success of every outage season is contingent on our members, to whom I owe all the credit. Your dedication to our trade and the nuclear industry are highly recognized by our contractors and utilities.

At the end of every season, I do an analysis, and I would like to share some of the data. This spring, the total manpower requested for the 11 outages was 542. Four slots spread over three outages were not filled. This was mainly due to members dropping out for various reasons late in the report dates, and site management opted not to replace them.
Of the members dispatched, 75% were from the SSMRC and 25% were traveler members from outside our council. That is the highest percentage of travelers since the fall season of 2016, when the Nuclear Office was opened. Over that span of years, the combined average utilization of SSMRC members was 81%. One hundred and six members were able to work two outages, with approximately 80% of those being SSMRC members. The average percentage of apprentices utilized was 32%.

In summary, the average of travelers utilized this outage season was slightly higher than usual. I attribute this to a high demand for millwrights in various industries throughout the SSMRC jurisdiction.

Overall, I give all our contractors’ high marks for collaborating with us to use as many SSMRC members as possible during these trying times of high demand. I appreciate their efforts as well thank you!

The fall season also will have it hurdles as many of the outages are overlapping. The eight outages are: Vogtle, Arkansas Nuclear One (AN0), St. Lucie, Watts Bar, Turkey Point, STP, Comanche Peak, and Sequoyah. I have tentative schedules for most but expect changes. Unless there is a forced outage, I hope everyone has a safe and prosperous summer! Thank you again for your hard work, your sacrifices, and your support of the SSMRC and the SSMRC Nuclear Office.
To prevent falls, be aware of and correct hazards
Falls from elevation are a leading cause of death in our industry, and falls, trips, and slips on any level are a leading cause of injury.

During the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, held earlier this month, we shared on social media a presentation about fall-hazard awareness in oil and gas industrial settings. Millwrights encounter many of the hazards identified and can take many of the corrective actions recommended.

Click the button below to view the presentation.
Members help Local 1192 provide meal for miners on strike in Alabama
Thanks to donations from SSMRC members, Millwright Local 1192 provided 100 meals on April 20 to miners on strike in Brookwood, Alabama. Local 1192 members Mitch Howton, a former coal miner, and Jack Wadkins, who heads Local 1192’s political operations, spearheaded a collection for the Brookwood miners. Read more.
Member Milestones
Congratulations to the following members, who became journeymen between March 16 and April 15, 2021.
Local 216:
Heidi Warren
Local 729:
Carmon Evans (joined as a journeyman)
The SSMRC mourns the loss of the following members, who passed away between March 16 and April 15, 2021.
Local 1554
Scott Marsh

Local 216
Carl Rothecker
Local 2232
Bill Burleson

Local 1000
Robert E. Hiller
Ronnie E Hutchinson
David B Martin
Federal task force on worker organization and empowerment formed
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh has joined Vice President Kamala Harris as vice-chair of the new White House Task Force on Worker Organization and Empowerment, which was established by executive order on April 26. Walsh, a former union leader, restated his belief in every worker’s right to unionize or collectively bargain.
Minimum wage for workers on federal projects raised to $15 per hour
Through an executive order signed April 27, President Joe Biden raised the minimum hourly wage to $15 for those working under federal contracts. The U.S. Labor Department stated the action "will promote government efficiency, lift people out of poverty, and provide economic security to workers’ families."
Labor Department withdraws independent-contractor rule
The U.S. Department of Labor withdrew the “Independent Contractor Rule” earlier this month. The agency stated the action was needed "to maintain workers’ rights to the minimum wage and overtime-compensation protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act."

Created during the Trump administration, the rule would have made it easier for unscrupulous contractors to avoid paying fair wages and overtime. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters, our parent organization, opposed the rule and supported its withdrawal.
UBC prepares to re-open International Training Center
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is getting ready to welcome members back to the International Training Center. Any person attending a program at the ITC must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the UBC stated in a memo. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend booster shots in the future, those will be required as well.
CDC updates recommendations for fully vaccinated people; New studies show vaccinated individuals not likely to spread COVID-19 to others
Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or physically distance except where required by federal, state, local, business, and workplace rules, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations updated May 13. The CDC cautioned that how long vaccine protection lasts and how well vaccines protect against emerging COVID-19 variants are questions still under investigation. Vaccinated people should get tested if they experience COVID-19 symptoms, the recommendations state.

As part of the reasoning for its decision, the CDC cited growing evidence that suggests fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or transmit COVID-19 to others.

Initial trials testing the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines measured their ability to prevent serious disease, but not whether they prevented people from becoming infected and potentially spreading the virus to others. Multiple studies now show that vaccinated individuals reduce their risks of even asymptomatic infection with the original virus strain by 70 to 90 percent and are unlikely to spread the virus to others. How much vaccines protect against vaccinated people spreading new COVID-19 variants to others has not been determined. Read more in this National Geographic article.
Get the SSMRC Member E-News and other information via text