Bluelight Central - Jan / Feb 2017

The 2016 general election is another for the history books. We had a healthy campaign that included both veterans and novices. Those of you who ran for office should be commended for participating. It takes guts to put yourself in a position of vulnerability. Congratulations to all the successful candidates. It  is an honor and a heavy responsibility to hold such positions.

The job notifications in my jurisdiction have slowed down quite a bit as winter settles in. However, 2017 still looks to be a prosperous year with opportunity for man hours. Those opportunities also present the challenge of competing with the non-union sector. In order for us to maintain our market share of these projects, it is crucial for Local 798 to outperform every time. We must convince the gas companies to choose union labor. We can make union labor more appealing by setting a good example and being more productive. What does that look like? Arriving to work early, dressed in appropriate attire, truck prepped and in good condition, and ready to give a full day’s work.

We’ve all heard the stories of making some ungodly number of welds in a ten-hour day. That is the truth. That is no exaggeration. Hands had pride in themselves and our union. They worked all day long from the time they set-in and started the fire in the morning until they rattled the pipe in the evening. When that bus pulled up to  the pipe gang, we would bail out anxious to get to work. That is part of our tradition taught by our retirees who showed us how to work hard and get it done well.

Dad loved to tell those pipeline stories: his first pipeline job in 1958, his initiation into 798 in 1960, living in those damn man camps in Alaska, he and I welding across the pipe from each other…I know those stories by heart.  Thank you to so many of you who also shared your stories remembering Dad fondly and offering your condolences.  I’m proud of those memories.  I’m proud of him.  Proud of his accomplishments and contributions to 798 as a welder, steward, long time finance committee member, UA delegate, Business Agent in Alaska during the Trans Alaska pipeline, and Business Agent over nine southern states.  I am proud to carry-on the traditions my father taught me and many others.  Traditions of finding satisfaction in hard work, knowing the value of a work ethic, and having a hunger to earn your own way.  I will continue to go to work every day trying my hardest to take care of his legacy, our legacy, and all that I hold dear.  I have big shoes to fill.  You will be missed Dad, but not forgotten.

MORE 798 STORIES

  • Blue Light Report - November / December 2018
    Fall is in the air, and by the time this report reaches you, many of the places that we are working in will be downright frigid. 2018 has turned out to be another banner year. We have had some challenges with permits pulled on projects that had already begun construction.
  • Blue Light Report 2 - November / December 2018
    We are about to wrap up another year of prosperity for Local 798 members.  I hope everyone has been able to take advantage of the amount of work we’ve been blessed with again this year.  We recently had our regular September membership meeting.  It is always good to see everyone that’s able to make it to Tulsa. 
  • Blue Light Report Dispatch - November / December
    I want to take this opportunity to welcome our new Welders, Journeymen, and Helpers to 798. I hope you are making yourself familiar with our website and taking the time to read the Dispatch Policies on the Dispatch page.
  • Blue Light Report Organizer Update - November / December
    I hope this report finds everyone doing well. It has been a fantastic year for Pipeliners with plenty of work and man-hours logged. The work outlook remains strong, and that’s very encouraging.