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 attending another great and informative Steward School. If you were unable to attend, you missed out.
The Ladies of 798 raised around $120,000 at their Basket Auction to give to their designated charities. I cannot imagine a better public relations machine than what the combined efforts of those ladies do. Not only is it great to help people in need but it shines a very positive light on the entire Local. I would also like to take a second to thank the sponsors that keep our training center running and help make Steward School so successful.
The work outlook out West is similar to my last report. However, some contractors have picked up other smaller jobs in addition to the projects already on the books. Intercon Construction out of Wisconsin was the successful bidder on the Black Hills Energy work in Wyoming, and I look for them to get started around the first week of May. Intercon is a smaller company with low overhead and was able to beat out Crossfire (also known as Strike) and still pay 90% rates and full fringes on 12”. The Hanging H job in Colorado looks to be pushed back until June. From what I am hearing, the government shutdown played a role in delaying permits. I am still very confident that project will go.
I have several large projects on my radar that I am diligently staying on top of, but most look to be next year or 2021. I hope to provide more details on those as they emerge and open seasons end. Denbury Resources has approximately 210 miles of 24” and 33 miles of 16” to do in Wyoming, and they just received BLM approval. My hope is this project will go no later than next summer.
I would also like to touch on the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. I am starting to see a lot more investor activity and acquisitions up there, all pointing to the possibility that it may be the next big oil and gas play next to the Permian Basin. It’s hard to get started with fair contractors when the work first starts back in an area, but some of these new project managers are getting a taste of getting what you pay for. I believe our fair contractors are going to start getting more opportunities to bid work and be looked at fairly in terms of quality. I have had reports of some contractors at times running 40% repair rates or higher. That isn’t acceptable by any standards.
In closing, I would like to remind everyone that there is a ton of building trades work available. Some locals pay as much as $50 an hour, and their pension contributions are close to ours. I have talked to agents that are already having trouble manning their work. If you don’t have the skill sets to work building trades, take advantage of the 798 Training Center. It could be the difference between earning a credit and falling short.
Hope everyone has a safe and prosperous year and till next time, work safe and WORK UNION.
- Castle Rock, CO. Blanket maintenance and integrity work, 22 valve change outs, and 1,800’ of 4 and 6-inch. Welder Foreman: John Larson. Superintendent: Stephen Knight. Working 5-8s. Approx. completion 11-1-19.
- Del Norte, CO. Maintenance and integrity, 3,000’ of 6”, and multiple reg. stations. Welder Foreman: Chris Jost. Superintendent: Stephen Knight. Approx. Completion 6-1-19.
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.