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Blue Light Report - May / June 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I would first like to say, “Tough times never last. But tough people do.” Pipeliners are some of the toughest and most resilient folks, but we are definitely being tested. We already had many enemies to battle, such as cheap nonunion contractors, biased judges, and extreme environmental protesters.

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Blue Light Report 2 - May / June 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope this report finds our Local 798 family safe and healthy. By now, the COVID-19 pandemic has reached almost every county and parish in the United States. I don’t know that anyone could have forecasted that this virus would sweep through our country with such intensity.

The good news, at least as of now, seems that the new cases have slowed somewhat. I pray that this trend continues. These are unprecedented times in which we are living. The stock market is swinging wildly, and the price of oil is bouncing lower many days. I hope that this pandemic subsides soon, and the after-effects on the economy are not as dire as some predict. I believe we will come out of this stronger than before, given time.   

Even with all of this going on, I am continuing to see job notifications come in, and some are for large projects. This is definitely a good sign of things on the horizon. I know many of our members are hurting right now with the slower work situation, and hopefully, as quickly as the country opens back up, we will be back on the right-of-way. Please continue to check the Action Network for any available opportunities to advocate for our work. The beauty of this is that we can still take actions supporting our industry, even while confined to our homes. Things are looking up for the Line 3 replacement and the Keystone XL. Abercrombie is currently putting in the 1.2 miles of pipe for the KXL border crossing between the U.S. and Canada. Sometime in the next month or so, we should get a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The news coverage of the hearings all sounded like we would get a favorable ruling, but we will know for sure soon. There is also a good portion of the MVP to be completed as well.   

We’ve got the work, and we need the politicians to get out of the way of progress. If you follow national politics at all, you can see that pipelines are a hot button issue right now. One party constantly kowtows to the far-left rabid environmentalists, and really for the first election cycle in history, they come right out and say they will stop new pipeline projects.  Both times that Obama ran, he stayed somewhat neutral or even positive towards the Keystone XL. Still, once elected, he proved that he wasn’t willing to go to bat for good union construction jobs against the activists that want to see our way of life destroyed. Both political parties will break your heart, and I don’t fully trust either of them, but I fear more the party that flat out tells me they will destroy this industry. The federal judges that have wreaked havoc on the MVP, ACP, and the Keystone XL are all Obama appointees, which shows us that even after a President’s term ends, their agenda lingers on through the people they appoint to carry it out. I’m not asking or suggesting that any member of this Local Union vote any particular way. I simply want to point out that politics have a lot to do with whether we are out there laying pipe or sitting at the house waiting on a Supreme Court ruling.  

It is a strange feeling for it to be the second week of April, and Steward School to not be in full swing. The decision to cancel was the right one, and I’m sure we will be back to business, as usual, this time next year. For all that had registered and had planned to take part in the week’s activities, thank you. For those who have not yet had the opportunity to attend a Local 798 Steward School, I hate that this couldn’t be the year for you. At times like this, everyone's health and well-being is the most important thing to consider.   

If there is ever anything 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,

JWallaceSign.png          

Justin Wallace

Financial Secretary-Treasurer

MORE 798 STORIES

  • Blue Light Report - May / June 2020
    Dear Brothers and Sisters, I would first like to say, “Tough times never last. But tough people do.” Pipeliners are some of the toughest and most resilient folks, but we are definitely being tested. We already had many enemies to battle, such as cheap nonunion contractors, biased judges, and extreme environmental protesters.
  • Blue Light Report 2 - May / June 2020
    Dear Brothers and Sisters, I hope this report finds our Local 798 family safe and healthy. By now, the COVID-19 pandemic has reached almost every county and parish in the United States. I don’t know that anyone could have forecasted that this virus would sweep through our country with such intensity.
  • Blue Light Report Dispatch - May / June 2020
    There is no way to describe the times in which we are living. We are walking through a situation that no one has dealt with before us. However, we do have work starting. Gas companies and contractors are proceeding with extreme caution.
  • Blue Light Report Benefits Update - May / June 2020
    Virtual Medical Visit option available May 1st   PIBF will be launching the MDLIVE program on May 1, 2020.  This is a virtual medical visit program offered by BlueCross BlueShield for active and COBRA participants and for participants where PIBF is the primary coverage.