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.
I will start by giving an update on MVP and ACP. I currently have eight of nine MVP spreads pre-jobbed. Spread G in Blacksburg, Virginia, has not yet pre-jobbed and looks to be the last to do so. Hiring on the MVP has been a slow process, and the client has a major say about when to hire and how many to hire.
Over the last couple of years, we became accustomed to having full employment, and work was more than plentiful. This year has been different.
ACP was supposed to be going on right now as we speak. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, heard both sides of the argument regarding the reexamination of the U.S. Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Crossing and Fish and Wildlife permits on May 9. Hopefully, the Fourth Circuit Court will agree that the permits have now been studied enough to satisfy their concerns about the permits being rushed in the beginning. There could be a Fourth Circuit Court ACP ruling in August.
In the meantime, we are fortunate to have sister locals reaching out to us while we are waiting on permits. There is plenty of Building Trades work available to Welders, Journeymen and occasionally Helpers if a member is willing to work it. Things are different on the Building Trades side, but sometimes in life, we must do things that we don’t necessarily want to do to feed our family. I feel that we are blessed to have this type of work. I received calls all winter from members asking about the work and didn’t have any work to speak of. At least we currently have an alternative that provides good wages, pension hours, healthcare and sure as hell beats working non-union.
We have to stop and think about the big picture sometimes. Union membership is not all about you and serving your personal needs. At times we must do what’s good for the whole. If you are working non-union with a book in your pocket, you are hurting the whole by making the competition better. I had a couple of folks recently call me to ask what they needed to do to resign their book. I hate calls like this, but I’d much rather get a resignation call than I would get a call that lets me know someone is sneaking around working non-union. Those that built this Local were off work for long periods, and some lost everything, but ask them if they ever considered working non-union and many will say it never entered their mind. That type of dedication and selflessness has kept this Local going and will continue to keep the Local going for many years to come. If we ever lose our dedication, principles, and strong work ethic, we could fail as a Local. It’s up to us to do the right thing now and in the future.
-Glen Dale, WV. 3,000’ of 12” new lay. Superintendent: Jason Bowe. Welder Foreman: Charlie Beddingfield. Mainline rates with Special Agreement fringes. Working 5-10s.
Contractors Rental Corp.:
-Huntington, WV. 30” and 8” Integrity Maintenance hydro testing. Superintendent: Tyler Gandee. Welder Foreman: Westlee White (LU 601). Mainline rates. Working 5-10s and an 8.
MORE 798 STORIES
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.
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.
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.
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.