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Blue Light Report - January / February 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a Merry Christmas. As seasons go, to me, winter is a time for reflection and a time to prepare for the upcoming spring and summer.

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Blue Light Report 2 - January / February 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope that each one of you was able to spend some time with your families and enjoy the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

The year 2019, never turned out to be the great work year that we had expected it to be, but we will finish the year with between 7 and 7.5 million man-hours. Compared to 2017 and 2018, this past year looks pretty slim. But keep in mind, over the last 50+ years, we have worked an average of 4.9 million man-hours per year. Many years were considerably less, while several years were considerably more. Thankfully, the building trades work was plentiful this year, and many of our members were able to take advantage of this.  

I thank everyone that voted in our recent election of officers.  Exercising our right to vote is the best way we have, as union members, to see that Pipeliners Local Union 798 continues heading in the right direction.  It was nice to see so many take an active interest in their local union by participating in this election cycle.  On a personal note, I want to thank you all for your continued support over the last two years, and I am humbled that I will get to carry on serving as Financial Secretary-Treasurer of Pipeliners Local Union 798 for the next three years.  It is an honor to serve alongside Business Manager Danny Hendrix, representing Local 798 members. I do not take this job lightly, and I am overwhelmed with your support. Thank you again!  I have noticed through conversations with some members that not everyone has a clear understanding of what each officer or committee member position entails.  I invite you to look at your Local 798 Constitution & By-Laws for a clear description of each position’s job duties.  I only bring this up because I have had several members ask me this election cycle, “What does the E-Board do?” or questions such as that.  Each of the officer and committee member positions is vital to the structure that we maintain as a local union.  Congratulations to each member that was elected to represent Local 798 in these positions. 

Danny and I recently attended a Union Leader Partnership Summit with Enbridge in Houston, Texas. UA Director of Pipeline Jurisdiction Dave Barnett, and UA Special Reps. Chad Gilbert and Mike Mikich were also in attendance. This was a great meeting between representatives of all four crafts and our partner client, Enbridge. Enbridge has some big projects coming up in the southern region of the United States, and I believe they recognize the value of organized labor. We were able to gain some insight from Enbridge on what goes into their bidding process, and how they choose contractors to build their pipelines. It was nice to be able to sit down and have an honest, open dialog with a client of their size. Much good will come from this meeting. 

We’ve talked numerous times about the Market Recovery in the last 18 months, and it has begun to bear fruit.  Since the beginning, we’ve picked up six projects under the Market Recovery package, with many more yet to be awarded. That may not seem like much, but that is six jobs we certainly would not have had without the Market Recovery package. Some of these were large projects, as well. With all the uncertainty in the permitting process, particularly in the north and the Northeast, every project we can pick up down south is a win for Local 798 members and their families. I do believe we are going to see more of this work awarded to our fair contractors this winter. 

 If there is ever anything that I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to call on me.  As always, I am proud to serve the membership of Pipeliners Local Union 798!

 Fraternally,

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Justin Wallace

Financial Secretary-Treasurer

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