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Blue Light Report - January / February 2019

This year we will be celebrating our 70th Anniversary as a Local Union. We were chartered on November 21, 1949. I want to thank all our charter members and retired members that stuck together through good times and bad to ensure they achieved better working conditions, wages, healthcare, and a sustainable pension.

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Blue Light Report 2 - September / October 2018

Work is in full swing, and it is an amazing time to be a Local 798 Pipeliner!  Looking at man-hours, we are pretty much even with where we were by this time last year.  If you are working on one of our larger projects, you’ve probably noticed a Local 798 Action Network banner hanging in your warehouse location. 

We’ve sent out several of these, and we will be sending more in the future.  We think these are going to help boost support and participation, which in turn helps us all.  Jimmy Riddle came up with the idea, and we appreciate him suggesting a way to reach a greater audience. We are always open to suggestions, and it seems the best ideas usually come from the job sites.  I also want to recognize and thank many of our Welder Foremen and Job Stewards for leading the way on advocacy.  I know several of these guys incorporate the importance of advocacy, and instructions on how to use the Action Network into their weekly meetings.  This is what it takes for us to be successful and gain our share of this work.

I want to share a recent Action Network success story with you. Back in May, we got word that a station expansion in Ohio was awarded to non-union contractor Troy Construction. Our Business Manager Danny Hendrix, Business Agents, and the UA Pipeline Department contacted the client and reminded them that it was Local 798 members and the UA that have supported countless projects by signing petitions, attending FERC and town hall meetings, and overall leading the way for the permitting of several of this client’s large projects. The non-union have no organization, and they put zero effort into any type of advocacy. They have cheap labor to offer the clients, and that is all.  After strongly relaying our disappointment in the client’s choice to use Troy Construction for this work, the client backed up and reassessed their decision. This job was then awarded to a union contractor, and our members are currently working on that job. That’s one less project a non-union contractor will get to have their fingerprints on, and one more job for union men and women to work on this year. This was all directly due to our members staying engaged through our Action Network.  It is working, and we must continue to step up our efforts.

The Enbridge Line 3 Replacement project was also recently approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.  The U.S. portion of this project will be over 350 miles of 36” in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  We know this project will be a reality, in part, due to over 3,100 Local 798 members and supporters signing the petition through the Action Network.  Let’s keep this momentum going by taking every action that comes along.

Stay safe on the job, and let’s count our blessings that the work has continued to be so abundant.  If there’s anything I can ever help with, please don’t hesitate to call.  As always, I am proud to have the opportunity to serve the membership of Pipeliners Local Union 798.

Fraternally,

Justin Wallace

Financial Secretary-Treasurer

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