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
Do you remember the first time you stepped onto the ROW to work for Local 798? Maybe it was your first job, or maybe you came from the non-union side with a leap of faith to better yourself. Either way, it can be a little intimidating to say the least. All of us, no mater how young or old, remember that first day. We also remember the people who reached out to us to help us feel like we were in the right place, and everything was going to be ok.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, This year is meeting and possibly going to exceed all our expectations. Through April, we’ve already recorded over two million man-hours, and it looks like it’s only going to get better as the year progresses. The work this year is taking place in some of the roughest terrains the United States has to offer, so remember to work safely.
The amount of work we are dealing with is joyfully amazing. We have 427 Helpers on the wheel. People at the top have only been there since March 21, 2018. We continue to call Helper members off the top, along with Journeymen and Welders.
The work season is off to a good start. A lot of jobs are under way and several have yet to start, including the Rockford and Price Gregory spreads in NC on the Atlantic Coast job. These are 36” spreads that are going to need several UA members. If you are not working, I encourage you to get on the Out-of-Work List and be ready to go to work.