I am writing this report after returning from the 2018 Steward School in Tulsa, which was an amazing week of fellowship and information. It was very refreshing to see all the new members and their families and have a chance to reconnect with old and dear friends.
Our Business Manager Danny Hendrix, Financial Secretary-Treasurer Justin Wallace, Office Manager Josalyn Johnson, and many others behind the scenes worked for months to ensure the success of our Steward School. They deserve a big “Thank You” for all the long hours and preparation that it took to pull off this amazing event.
Business Agent Black Schroeder spoke on R.O.W Etiquette, Recording Secretary Guy Williams spoke on Standard of Excellence, and President Preston Richard spoke about What our Work Consists of Outside the Pipe Gang and Firing Line. These union leaders had a powerful message to share with the membership. If you did not attend Steward School, get with someone who did and find out what is needed to continue to ensure the growth of our great Local. Always remember that we set the bar of excellence, and each member should present themselves with that key fact in mind.
As you already know, this was my first Steward School as a Business Agent. I want to express my sincere appreciation for the warm reception I received with my new position and all the questions I received from the membership. Words cannot describe the honor it is to represent my fellow Brothers and Sisters in this capacity.
Another very important topic this week was the 798 Action Network. It is vital for our future that EVERY member participates. Our action page is the best avenue to accomplish our goals. It is a way for legislators to hear our voice and understand the passion we have for the work we do. As we all know, the “squeaky wheel gets the grease,” so let’s be louder than our opposition!
I would like to take the time to acknowledge our Inside Guard, Chad Williams, and all the volunteers for Inside Guard. They did a great job helping to keep everything running in an orderly and professional manner. Also, thank you to Farron Hollabaugh, his staff, and the young men and women of the Welding School, who worked countless hours behind the scenes.
The work in the South is still abundant, unfortunately, we are still suffering from the lack of fair union contractors to cover the work load. Union hands working non-union jobs is more detrimental than ever to our way of life. I encourage and appreciate all the phone calls with information about what is going on in the South. You are my eyes and ears and it is you that I serve. I will continue to work diligently on your behalf to bring more union work to my jurisdiction. I also want to remind you that during your travels, be cordial to all workers, union and non-union alike. We are a brotherhood of excellence. With that being said, we want to encourage non-union workers who have the skill set and fortitude to enjoy the benefits that we are so very blessed to have. Reach out to others and help the continuous growth of this great Local.
Lastly, if you are having trouble contacting me, please call my cell number: (918) 991-5341. As always, I look forward to hearing from you. May God bless you and your families with a healthy and prosperous year. And remember, there is Strength in numbers and Greater Strength in ORGANIZED numbers.
-Okeechobee, FL. 5.11 miles of 20”, fabrication and meter station. Gas Company: Nexterra, Superintendent: Cole Henson, Welder Foreman: Marty Elliot, Steward: Basil Long, Approx. completion: unknown.
T.J. Construction, Inc:
-Fulton, MS. 2 miles of 4” main extension. Gas Company: City of Fulton, Mississippi, Superintendent: Will Munsey, Steward: Dustin Bilbrey, Approx. completion: Unknown.
MORE 798 STORIES
I struggle with my words today to communicate the value of your work and advocacy going forward. We have been blessed abundantly for the last ten years, and the work outlook remains robust, but there are demons at our door.
Work is in full swing, and it is an amazing time to be a Local 798 Pipeliner! Looking at man-hours, we are pretty much even with where we were by this time last year. If you are working on one of our larger projects, you’ve probably noticed a Local 798 Action Network banner hanging in your warehouse location.
If you have a job, hang onto it! It appears we have reached the point where most of our large projects are nearly fully manned. I believe we will have work through the fall of this year. However, it will not be at the rate we have experienced this summer.
We are well into the work season and as you are aware, it is great. We have jobs going in almost all parts of the country and still have jobs waiting to start. The work in KY is picking up as well.