Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The National Pipeline Agreement has finally been signed and finalized for June 1, 2020, through June 4, 2023. Our contract will immediately go to print, and by the time the Blue Light reaches you, we will be sending out a printed copy to all members. For the time being, you can go to the 798 website for viewing and print a copy now if you like.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I have dedicated my report to only one subject because I, along with Justin and the rest of my staff, agree it is the most value we can provide the clients. And we need to continue to capitalize on it now while the opportunity is at hand.
Believe it or not, we are at war with the extreme environmental groups and political parties that are trying to stop every pipeline project in Canada and America. War was declared over 12 years ago in our industry concerning the permitting of the Keystone XL Pipeline over the routing of the line by just a mere handful of landowners. Since that time, these fringe groups have been able to grow in numbers and are sharing tactics and information to shut pipeline projects down. At the very least, they delay permits on a national scale, and sometimes for years. “NIMBY” (Not In My Backyard!) used to be the chant. Now it’s “BANANA” (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody). These extreme groups believe that today should be the end to all fossil fuels and that renewables are the future. As a nation, I think we are making progress in renewables. Still, any person in the energy supply business that has two brain cells to rub together will tell you that the technology and innovation to eliminate all fossil fuels are decades away, if ever. Unless you and your family live completely off the grid, you are dependent upon fossil fuels for most all your basic needs without even realizing it. Well over 6,000 products that we use daily require the basic building blocks of petroleum. I won’t try to name them all, but here are a few that may surprise you: anything made from plastic, sunscreen, insect repellant, vinyl, nylon, detergents, cosmetics, medicines, golf balls, and crayons. This list can be googled, and it just keeps going and going. The opposition screams, “Let’s go solar!” Well, today, even the solar panels are made from petroleum-based resins and plastic components in their photovoltaic cells. A barrel of oil is 42 gallons, which creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest is used to make products. Each American consumes petroleum products at a rate of 3 1/2 gallons of oil and more than 250 cubic feet of natural gas per day. Does it sound like fossil fuels are leaving anytime soon? See how silly the notion of abandoning fossil fuels really is when you do some simple research. The pipeline is our industry, and it is our future.
You, as a member, have a powerful opportunity to help guide not only your own economy, but you can also help strengthen the position of America as a global energy leader, as we should be. We should never have to bow down to foreign countries for our energy needs. Have we as a nation forgotten about the tragedy of 9/11 or the oil embargo of the 1970s? Pipelines, and the energy they provide, are the lifeblood of a strong and independent nation. What can you do to help? We must work collectively; that’s why we joined the union. There is no strength or power to yield if we don’t all pull in the same direction. The direction we need to pull in is better partnerships with our clients. We have commitments from numerous clients for some enormous pipeline projects over the next two to three years. But with that comes some expectations from those partners. I have spoken about this topic in almost every issue for the last 10 years, but the membership participation should be better. We need you, when called upon, to attend the various meetings for pipeline projects in your general area. You will not be required to speak unless you feel compelled to do so. We need members in the room. Write a simple letter of support for projects when asked to do so.
Take action on the Local 798 Action Network. Your participation is critical to your financial well-being, as well as your local union. These two simple things have and will continue to create more real pipeline jobs than any picket line ever did. This is the “new” norm for Local 798. The best way to organize is partnering with clients, and we must do a better job of showing the client that the decision to utilize UNION LABOR was the perfect choice. There is strength in numbers, but only if it is focused. Surely, we can unite and be better activists than a bunch of fossil fuel haters who don’t even know what energy they consume every day, or how it got to its customers. Please think about what you should do as members, active and retired, in the greatest local in the world when the e-mail notice arrives to take action or the phone rings, and you are asked to help fight the fight. Will you do nothing, or will you unite and fight as a family when others try to destroy your livelihood?
The 2020 Steward School is just around the corner. If possible, I urge each of you to make plans to attend this annual event. The discussions and interpretations of our National Pipeline Agreement are what help promote harmony and protect our working conditions on the ROW, but there is so much more to be shared. The whole week is like a family reunion, with a carnival atmosphere to be enjoyed by all. With lots of fun, food, prizes, entertainment, and some education thrown in for good measure. Tulsa is the place to be in April! Hopefully, when you leave this year’s event, you will be armed with the best and latest information concerning this great organization to which you belong. I also believe you will be amazed at everything Pipeliners 798, the training center, benefit programs, Voluntary Fund, and Ladies of 798 are doing for you and your families. Pipeliners 798 Steward School is the largest UA attended event in the United States and Canada, with only one exception, and that is the UA National Convention. That should say something for your commitment to your local and to the pipeline industry that you work in.
If you have never been to the Steward School, now is the time to commit. I would also like to invite you to include your spouse when you travel to the Steward School. The Ladies of 798 have a great charitable organization! They have a website and newsletter, the Pink Light, which is a great way to stay connected. They do volunteer work throughout the year, and their mission is simply to provide good works, whether at home or in a community while on a pipeline job. I encourage you to explore what these ladies are doing to promote the public image of workers in the pipeline industry. Take a few minutes and go to their website www.ladiesof798.org. You will be proud and grateful that you did. And by the way, you don’t have to be a female to join; many supporters who have joined are men, including myself. We are all 798 Pipeliners.
As always, I am proud to say, “I work for you, the greatest pipeliners in the world.”
Daniel C. Hendrix
MORE 798 STORIES
Dear Brothers and Sisters, The National Pipeline Agreement has finally been signed and finalized for June 1, 2020, through June 4, 2023. Our contract will immediately go to print, and by the time the Blue Light reaches you, we will be sending out a printed copy to all members. For the time being, you can go to the 798 website for viewing and print a copy now if you like.
Brothers and Sisters, I hope this report finds you well. At the time of this writing, the National Pipeline Agreement is finalized. I won’t go into great detail here, but by the time this report reaches you, the contract will be posted on our website and mailed to every member.
First, I would like to mention how the new NPLA will affect calculating hours in regard to waiting time. If benefits are not paid on those hours, they will not be counted toward your 300 hours. Please be aware, you could arrive at 299.5 hours and retain your spot on the Out-of-Work List. Remember, you are guaranteed 300 hours of National Agreement work per Out-of-Work Date.
MDLIVE - Virtual Medical Visit Option The MDLIVE program launched May 1, 2020. Hopefully, you have all registered and set up a profile for you and your dependents to use should you need the service. It is a great idea to do this in advance of your first virtual visit.