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 - May / June 2018
    The 2018 Steward School has just concluded.  While it is impossible to put into words all that transpired for the week, I will try to give you a brief snapshot of the events. 
  • Blue Light Report 2 - May / June 2018
    Dear Brothers and Sisters, Steward School 2018 has come to an end, and I believe a good time was had by all. Thank you to each and every member and their families that were able to come to Tulsa and participate.
  • Blue Light Dispatch - May / June 2018
    I sincerely hope you were handed this Blue Light by your Job Steward instead of picking it up at your home address. By the time you read this report, I expect nearly everyone on the Out-of-Work Wheel to be gone to a job or at least packing up to get on the road.
  • Blue Light Report Mid Atlantic - May / June 2018
    I am writing this report after returning home from the 2018 Steward School. As in the past, this was a very informative meeting, as well as enjoyable with the fun events that were held. If you were working and unable to attend, you missed a great Steward School. Thanks to all the great speakers who spoke; they delivered good information to us to use out on the jobs and the areas we work in as well.