Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Like many of you, I am also disappointed in the many projects that have been stalled or delayed. All the more reason we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to advocate. Sadly, only about 50% of our members are actively engaged on our Action Network.
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, Like many of you, I am also disappointed in the many projects that have been stalled or delayed. All the more reason we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to advocate. Sadly, only about 50% of our members are actively engaged on our Action Network.
Brothers and Sisters, I hope this report finds each of you healthy and in good spirits. This year has obviously started out much slower than the last two. Through the month of May, we are well behind 2017 and 2018 man-hours, but we are still ahead of 2015 and 2016, which ended up being 6.8 million and 7.5 million man-hour years.
The pipeline hours are slower than in 2017 and 2018, but we are still ahead of 2015 and 2016, so work is not quite as slow as it may seem. We are not having a record year as we have had previously (that goal is unreasonable), but work is picking up. We have already needed to PPC-11 a nonbook to an Intermediate job in the Dakotas.
401(k) Distributions We are currently experiencing an unusually high volume of 401(k) calls and distribution applications. Please know that messages received by the Fund office will be returned and we are working to process the distribution applications in a timely manner.