Ted Dinch is a pipeliner from Virginia, who was working on the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline planned to run from West Virginia through Virginia and into North Carolina.
In December, 2018, a federal judge’s order stopped all work on the pipeline over a permit dispute. Continued delays have hurt those counting on the pipeline, putting businesses, communities, consumers and workers on the line.
Ted was looking forward to a promotion from a helper on the pipeline to a journeyman, a move that would have brought in a lot more money for Ted and his family—including a baby on the way.
We spoke with Ted about how the delays on the ACP have impacted his career.
Q: Why did you feel secure in going for the higher position?
A: I was getting ready to switch my book over to a journeyman, which is a great pay increase for me and my family. Me and my wife got pregnant knowing that I was going to switch to that position.
Q: Now that work has stopped on the pipeline, are you still going to pursue the higher certification?
A: To take that risk right now and switch my book would be very sketchy. Work is so slow. Not as many journeymen get sent to jobs as helpers and welders.
Q: What are you afraid will happen if work doesn’t start again on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline or you can’t find other jobs.
A: It’s really going to squeeze down for me and my family. We may have to give up a few things … or lose a few things. A lot rides on it for everyone. Losing their houses, losing their vehicles – it’s going to be affecting a lot of people.