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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 Texas - March / April 2019

I have been getting calls from hands asking about going out on non-union jobs as salts. Salting a job will work and has worked, but you must get the job loaded up with over 50 percent of the welders and helpers to be effective. Everyone must have the same intentions, that is to organize the contractor, welders, helpers, and journeymen on the job that are doing our work.

 A perfect scenario would be for one of our members to get a Welder Foreman slot for a non-union contractor. If you go out there without a salt letter, a plan, and backing from an Organizer or BA, then you are out there being a rat.

I would like to touch base on the work for 2018 and 2019.  At one time we were set up to have full employment all winter long, continuing right through the spring. Then permits got pulled, jobs shut down and are delayed. This is one of life’s lessons. Don’t take anything for granted. Never count your chickens before they hatch, and always have a rainy-day fund “if you are a Pipeliner.” Ten short years ago, the rule of thumb was you got laid off in September or October and didn’t go back to work until April or May. Being able to work 365 days, day in and day out is pretty much impossible.

There’s a good possibility that we will be laying 65 miles of 30-inch in west Texas for Exxon. It looks like they will warehouse in Wink. The line will originate about 45 miles west of Jal, NM, with approximately 14 miles in NM, and end up at the Exxon’s tank farm in Wink. This project is scheduled to start around March or early April.  If you happen to hire out or dispatch to this job, the cost of living is very high, especially motels. Exxon has some very strict safety rules that we must abide by with no exceptions. We have been trying to acquire work out there for quite a while. This is our opportunity to do what we do best. Our contractors are bidding over 1,000 miles of 42-inch in Texas, and there is twice that much still left to bid on in the next two years.

I want to thank Chad Gilbert for his contribution and dedication to Local 798. When you work beside a friend for over 12 years, you will miss them. Chad will be an asset to the UA Pipe Line Department. Chad, I wish you and Crystal the best. Also, congratulations to Justin Head for his appointment to Business Agent.  Danny and Chad have confidence in him, and he has our support.

I look forward to seeing everyone at Steward School in April.  If I can be of assistance to anyone, please don’t hesitate to contact me.