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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 - November / December 2018

Fall is in the air, and by the time this report reaches you, many of the places that we are working in will be downright frigid. 2018 has turned out to be another banner year. We have had some challenges with permits pulled on projects that had already begun construction.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley both are back up and running now, but it just shows you how fragile this work can be when you have such strong opposition to the construction of oil and gas pipelines. Your continued support through the Action Network helped resurrect these projects, and we must remain vigilant going into the future.

The work outlook for 2019 remains very robust. Currently, the four crafts are working on a Project Labor Agreement to cover the Keystone XL which is 850 miles of 36” that runs from Vida, MT, to Steele City, NE. I believe that this work will utilize camps and RV sites maintained by TransCanada to house our people on all spreads, due to the large volume of labor and the lack of any adequate housing in the area. The expected construction date is early 2019, but I caution you that we were in the exact spot almost ten years ago when we all sat down and wrote the original PLA. The opposition is dug in, and again, we must have our voices heard through the Action Network, so this project can finally become a reality.

Just recently, the PLCA and the four crafts were invited down to Alabama to have a roundtable meeting with Southern Company. Southern is America’s premier energy company, with 46,000 MW of generating capacity and 1,500 billion cubic feet of combined natural gas consumption and throughput volume, serving nine million customers through its subsidiaries. Operations include more than 80,000 miles of natural gas pipeline.

The company provides clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy through electric operating companies in four states with natural gas distribution companies in seven states. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Southern also feels that utilizing union labor for its transmission lines could provide them with the best craftsmen available but also political leverage that the competition cannot match. With this being the first meeting, I am not certain of what the outcome will bring. But, I am pleased that they see the real value of the union crafts, and I look forward to the opportunity to work with this client in the future.

As Chairman of the Board of Trustees at PIBF, I am proud to announce the new increases in the accruals and retirees, and they are as follows. If you retired after 1/1/2018, you will receive the new accruals. If you retired before 1/1/2018, you will receive the 13th check.

Journeyman accrual $190 ----- $205

Helper accrual $126------$136

Retirees------13th check X 2.6

Your pension fund is solvent and remains a healthy 114% funded after the increases. I would like to thank you, the membership, for all the work that you have accomplished this year.  And I would like to wish you and your families a Blessed Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. As always, I am proud to say, “I work for you, the best pipeliners in the world.”

Fraternally,

Daniel C. Hendrix

Business Manager

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.