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February 16, 2024 | Training

Union Members Earn Respect, Requested for Overseas Work

When the Deme Group signed on for work at Vineyard Wind, they had extensive experience with offshore construction in Europe and a crew full of seasoned veterans.

Management and the employees of the Belgium-based company might have been a bit skeptical about American members of the UBC joining them for their work in the United States. But after months of specialty training and extensive work at sea, member pile drivers showed their worth. Not only have they received excellent reviews for their skills and professionalism, some of them were requested to join the Deme Group for work outside of United States waters.

Four members of Pile Drivers Local 56 formally signed contracts with the company and Local 56 and the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters signed a project labor agreement with the Deme Group. Members Garrison Biel, Chad Lucas, Gerard Mullin, and Christian Bravo (pictured from left to right) are now in Scotland beginning work.

Local 56 Representative John Dunderdale said there were a dozen pile drivers the company would have been happy to take on. He said the preparation, attitude and skills of UBC training programs and both pile driver and millwright members really opened they eyes of everyone on the Deme team.

“There was a lot of training and hard work put into preparing and then performing to the standard required,” he said. “Going in, Deme was very clear and specific with what they wanted to see and they’ve been as just as direct in telling us how well it has gone. From the other members of the crew to the project managers and executives, they’ve allowed our members to blend right in. We’re proud that we’ve earned their respect and these positions.”