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Blue Light Report - January / February 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a Merry Christmas. As seasons go, to me, winter is a time for reflection and a time to prepare for the upcoming spring and summer.

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Blue Light Report Organizer Update - May / June 2019

I hope this report finds everyone well. I am writing after attending the 2019 Steward School.  If you missed this year’s school, it was one of, if not the best Steward School to date.

There was a very good turn out and a great time was had by all. The sessions were very informative with many important topics discussed and all questions answered. This is the best place to come to get a true understanding of our contract and working rules. Nothing creates more harmony on the job between members, other crafts, and contractors than the Steward School.

Business Manager Danny Hendrix and Financial Secretary Justin Wallace did a fantastic job getting this school together and making it run smooth and efficiently. We had many guest speakers including representatives from the UA:  Brothers Jim Moss, David Barnett, Mike Mikich and Chad Gilbert. It is always good to hear from and have our UA representatives present.

Many thanks to all our staff that worked so hard to make this school a success, and a huge success it was. The amount of money raised for various charities was substantial, and it is a heart-warming experience to see so many give without reserve to help those less fortunate than ourselves. The money raised by these auctions and raffles will go toward making a better life for many people who may have little or no hope left. It’s humbling to see so many willing to give so freely to help those they have never known.

Thank you to all our sponsors who donated their time, money, and merchandise to make this a success, whether they be vendors, contractors or individuals.  Your devotion and loyalty will never be forgotten. The Ladies of 798 did a great job as usual, and I can’t say enough about them. Their hard work and commitment to help others is without equal, and I know each one of them will be truly blessed for their tireless work to help those in need. Their caring deeds show the world the true spirit of all the members of 798. On the ROW we may seem like a gruff unpolished group, but inside we are all caring and mindful that we are very fortunate to have the skill and the knowledge to not only provide for our families, but we aren’t afraid to step forward and give unselfishly to those less fortunate. It makes me very proud to belong to such a great organization as Pipeliner’s Local Union 798.

It's sad to say that several charges were filed this meeting. This is not something anyone enjoys doing but something that must be done. Our contractors are at a serious disadvantage trying to bid work when there are those willing to work for less. It’s bad enough when anyone will go out and work for less than the negotiated wage, but when our members do it, they are helping our fair contractors lose work, therefore putting us all out of work. We all signed an oath of obligation, and we gave our word to remain true to the principles and policies and to be governed by the Constitution and By-Laws and Ritual of the United Association and our Local Union. When I give my word, I take it very seriously and hope that everyone else does as well.  Our word should always be our bond.

I have had some questions come up that I would like to address. One is, “can a helper weld non-union without having charges brought against them?”  The answer is no. The other is, “can you work as a Foreman without being subject to charges?” The answer to that is no also. The only way you can work non-union without risk of charges is with a salt agreement, and that must be agreed on beforehand.

Also, when calling to report a member working non-union, try to have some vital information, like the person’s name, the location where they are working, the contractor they are working for or the specific job. Simply saying we have a member working in South Texas or Central Oklahoma doesn’t give us much to go on. It doesn’t mean we can’t locate them, but it makes it a lot easier and cost effective with a little information.

With that said, I would like to hear any information you have. Like I said earlier, when one of our members is doing this, they are going against everything we stand for and are hurting all our chances of securing work in that area.

It was great seeing so many people at Steward School and meeting many new friends. If I can help anyone, please don’t hesitate to call. I hope everyone has a safe and prosperous work year. Please work safe and stay Union Strong.


Ronnie M. Hill

(918) 284-6862