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 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
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.