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
We recently finished the 3% allocation that you will receive on June 3, 2019, under the National Pipeline Agreement. All classifications have allocated 30 cents towards healthcare and the remainder of the raise will be put on your 401(k) benefit contribution. Currently, welders and journeymen on high scale work receive $6.89 per hour and helpers receive $3.48 per hour. With the additional monies, welders and journeymen will receive $9.30 per hour on 401(k) and helpers will receive $4.68 per hour on 401(k).
We recently held our regular January Membership Meeting here in Tulsa, and I am proud to say that we had well over 300 members in attendance. This was a great turnout for January, with many entering their Union Hall in Tulsa for the very first time. It’s always good to see so many members come to take part in the direction of this Local Union.
“The unsuccessful person is burdened by learning and prefers to walk down familiar paths. Their distaste for learning stunts their growth and limits their influence.” - John C. Maxwell
PIBF at Steward School PIBF’s presentation Thursday afternoon at Steward School will include guest speakers from the Trust Company of Oklahoma who will cover helpful information on our 401(k) plan, along with guidance on Medicare and Social Security. A representative from Cooper Clinic will also discuss the special pricing available to the membership for their preventative medicine program. As in the past, the PIBF staff will be available throughout the Steward School for member questions.