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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 Dispatch - May / June 2019

All is well for those who are ready to conduct their business like professionals. Coming by the work is not going to be as easy as last year. But there is work out there. Here in Dispatch, we are willing to do everything we can to help.

What is needed to work Building Trades:OSHA 10 or OSHA 30, (Must have your card on your person and it is preferred to be not more than three years old.) A UA certification where the weld consists of an uphill stick bead filled and capped with low hydrogen. Another one needed is Heli-Arc bead, and hot pass then filled and capped with Low Hydrogen. Another is 2” Heli-Arc all the way out. Also, what they call for a UA 41 which is stainless bead hot pass fill and cap. Every one of these increases your earning ability. UA certifications are only available through UA Training Centers. Also, some Local’s agreements read that you are required to get your own drug test. In these cases, the drug test is good for roughly six months. Occasionally a TWIC card may help. Personally, I would have one.

I do not know how soon the work will pick up. However, there is an opportunity to go to work in several Building Trades locations across the country. Most places DO NOT PAY per diem. A few do, but even then, it is seldom equivalent to the amount we receive. However, I did find one small job that was paying $100.00 per day. At the very least, these jobs will help your unemployment and your health care last longer. But, do not wait until the last minute to decide to do something. As I said, the more certifications and willingness to travel, the more opportunity is out there, including reaching 1,200 hours for your pension. There is work in Washington State, Arizona, Oregon, and California, but I am strictly speaking of building trades jobs. Most of these jobs you need to be there to get a work order.

Be aware when traveling to these other locals, we are guests. We need to behave like thankful guests. Other locals notice quite fast if people miss work or drag up after a few weeks. The person who does it may not feel the effects; however, a brother or sister member who is needing to get a job will. To them, you may have just closed the door of opportunity. Everywhere you go; you are representing the character and integrity of Local 798 members. Sometimes I hear the response that it was not a very good job or some complaint about situations on the job. When we are looking for travelers for our work, it is not because we are looking to put them on our best job. The fact is, we must have people man the work and when other locals do the same thing you are not likely to roll up on the best job they have or the best supervision. When they are looking for help, they are already spread thin.

Do not neglect your downhill skills either. Do not assume that after being off several months you are in testing condition for a good downhill job. It’s a bad day when you travel many miles and miss the weld test for a job that could be months in length. With some of the retest rules, you may not ever be able to roll back up on that job or entire project before it is completed. The abundance of work has allowed for error. If you made a mistake in judgment, you could simply move to the next job and tighten up there; this year is not going to afford that. If you drag up or get run off the opportunity to reapply yourself may be gone. If you drag up, you will not qualify for unemployment, and it could be very difficult to get on another job to get that lay off for unemployment.

All is well for those who are ready to conduct their business like professionals. Coming by the work is not going to be as easy as last year. But there is work out there. Here in Dispatch, we are willing to do everything we can to help.

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.