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 hope this report finds everyone doing well and staying healthy during this COVID-19 ordeal. The new year certainly got off to a bad start and will be a year we remember for a long time.
As if the virus wasn’t enough, oil prices then plunged dramatically. We learned new terminologies such as social distancing and shelter-in-place, and we’ve seen many businesses we frequent close, people quarantined, etc. Travel restrictions are in place in many parts of this country with the bureaucrats determining what is and what is not essential to you and me.
On a good note, from what I have been reading recently, this virus should peak as of this writing. Hopefully, this is happening, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and get back to our daily lives as usual. It appears that President Trump spoke with Russia and Saudi Arabia and has produced results. Both countries have reportedly agreed to slow production, and the oil prices are easing back up. That’s good news for us.
It was sad that we missed our annual Steward School, l but I feel our Business Manager, Danny Hendrix, made the right call as usual. General President McManus has also implemented some directives to ease the strain on U.A. members and local unions with so much work stopped. We are blessed to have such good and compassionate leadership at both the local and international levels.
This pandemic, as they call it, has shown what a lot of us have known for a long time. That being that we have become complacent and have left ourselves vulnerable to many of our enemies. What we should have learned here is that countries not necessarily friendly to us don’t have to attack us militarily to strike a crippling blow as we have witnessed today. In my opinion, we are now facing the most severe blow to our way of life except for the Great Depression and World War II.
Hopefully, when this is over, we will have learned a valuable lesson as a nation. That lesson being NEVER AGAIN should we allow our nation to become dependent on a foreign country for anything deemed essential to our daily lives and security. Anything that we need as a nation to survive must forever, from this day forward, have “MADE IN THE USA” stamped on it along with the union bug. Our fruits, vegetables, and livestock should be grown right here in the USA and clearly marked as such. We cannot allow this ever to happen again. President Trump has said over and over again, “America First,” and that is the way it must be without exception. When we make and grow our essential goods here in America, we not only make our country secure, but we put our workers to work and support our farmers and ranchers, not some sweatshop on the other side of the world that exploits workers to no more than slave labor. Our fuel, parts, appliances, electronic devices, steel, etc. should all be made here, so we are never dependent on anyone for anything.
I feel confident that we will emerge from this not only stronger but much wiser and more determined than ever. This country has suffered many hardships, and many times others have underestimated the will of the American people. We have the most highly skilled and productive workforce the world has to offer, and it’s time we utilize it for the good of our citizens, our nation, and our security.
We have also realized in the last couple of months that there are a lot of things we thought we had to have, but it wasn’t that necessary. What we need to do now is continue to say “No” to these items if they are not made in America by American workers. If our government officials do not correct the issue, we can fix it ourselves by simply refusing to buy anything made elsewhere. The number of things made in China today is unbelievable, and 99% of it is pure junk. When we buy these things, we put our friends, neighbors, and ourselves out of a job. Please buy American made products and request American made products. Call and write your elected representatives and demand they help with this problem. If they don’t help, replace them because they aren’t working in your best interest or the best interest of our country.
In closing, I wish everyone a safe and prosperous year and hope this virus has not affected you or your family. There is still work on the books, and hopefully, this will calm down, and we can all get back to normal. If I can be of any help to anyone, please let me know.
Ronnie M. Hill
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.