Brothers and Sisters,
Hopefully, by the time you receive this report the work this spring will have sprung. I fully expect that we will shadow our record numbers and possibly could shatter the record of 12 million manhours set back in 1968.
Could the work just dry up and disappear? If you spent your whole career in the pipeline industry, you’ve seen it go from wide open to dead still in a matter of months. It is important that you, as a member of Local 798, understand that almost every piece of fossil fuel infrastructure will be contested going forward into the future. Our opponents have developed new strategies to increase the financial risks of these pipeline projects. Blocking and stalling permits causes a viable concern for banks who finance the work. Bankers do not like risk, they like certainty. However, the strategy of delay is more than just economics. It is an opportunity for these opponents to not only raise “awareness,” but at the same time raise funds to oppose future projects.
Well, I’m sure that we are all ready for spring, ready for both the work to break and for Steward School.
The Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference in Pittsburgh echoed that there is a multitude of proposed energy projects for 2018. The two-billion-dollar Nexus pipeline in Ohio is progressing. In December, they started cutting and clearing in preparation for kicking off the 255-mile pipeline that begins near Hanoverton in Columbiana County, Ohio, and will connect to existing natural gas pipelines in Michigan. As of this report, Latex sent in a notification for its 80 miles of 36” mainline. Unfortunately, some other projects are still waiting on state and water permits or facing environmental resistance. This reinforces the need to stay on top of our Action Network page. Pipeliners Local 798’s participation at the conference was well received. It is apparent we are making a large footprint in the industry. Our booth provides an occasion to build relationships with the oil and gas community, promote 798 labor as a valuable resource for successful projects, and to organize non-union contractors.
One of the best ways to prepare for the work season is to attend Steward School. Our week-long event is an atmosphere of fellowship while interacting with Brother and Sister members beyond the ROW. Join contractors, sister local representatives, keynote speakers, and special guests from the UA for our annual opportunity to brush-up on contract knowledge through interpretations, Q & A, and updates. One such industry update is the new DOT policy regarding opiate prescriptions. I’m sure this topic will be discussed at length during our Steward School sessions. Those who want to be Stewards this year, be sure to sign-up for the Steward Reporting Class.
In conclusion, I want to acknowledge the official January retirement of our Financial Secretary-Treasurer Wade Pilgreen. I’m happy for him, yet sad to see him go. Wade has been a great friend and union brother who indeed made things a little bit better every day with his work ethic, sense of humor, and dedication to 798. He will truly be missed. Best wishes to both Wade and Toni for a peaceful retirement. Justin Wallace, however, has provided a smooth transition and will pursue the office of Financial Secretary-Treasurer with the same heart and focus as his predecessor. Congratulations Justin for being the unopposed nominee and officially being sworn in at the January regular membership meeting.
If I can be of assistance, please contact me. Remember to always support our Ladies of 798, especially at Steward School.
MORE 798 STORIES
I am writing this report after returning from Florida. These past couple of months have been spent traveling around, meeting and greeting people, and exploring all the job opportunities that are coming up for bid in the South.
I am writing my report in route to the Colorado Water & Energy Conference. The conference will bring together U.S and Canadian senior leaders in Energy Development and Water Infrastructure planning. I am looking forward to sitting at the table with the men and women who plan infrastructure development in Colorado and throughout the West. I will do my best to relay that Local 798 is looking to be a partner in the construction of all pipelines planned for future development.
The 2018 work season has started already, and this year will be another busy one for everyone. The mainline work will again be in the Northeast to get the Marcellus and Utica Shale Natural Gas out of the gas fields to be distributed to American homes and businesses. Natural gas will be the product that keeps our members working for many years to come.
So far, 2018 is starting out like last year. Several projects have gone out for bid in Texas, but our fair contractors have had no success picking up any jobs. Everyone’s saying the same thing: the work is going cheap.