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Blue Light Report - July / August 2018

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.

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Blue Light Dispatch - March / April 2018

This message is very important to all members and applies to those who utilize the Out-of-Work wheel, as well as those who are dispatched or contract hired. The new DOT drug testing laws will impact many of us. I am referring to the addition of testing for semi-synthetic opioids: hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone and oxymorphone. Some of the common brand names for these are OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, Norco, Exalgo and Dilaudid. There may be others that I am unaware of.

The purpose of this message is to let you know the necessary steps that you now must take in order to pursue pipeline work if you are prescribed any of these medications.

If you have any prescriptions containing these semi-synthetic opioids and you attempt to go to work on a pipeline, it is advisable that you talk with your doctor and clarify whether he/she will be able to write a letter saying you are fit for duty. Particularly, a letter specifying that you are able to perform safety sensitive work, such as performing pipeline and fabrication work on the pipeline construction. It also may be beneficial to talk with your prescribing doctor about any and all plans of treatment that can provide reliable pain relief.

Once you are informed that your drug test provided positive results for these opioids, you will have five (5) business days to have your prescribing doctor get in touch with the Medical Review Officer.

If the doctor cannot convince the MRO that you can safely perform your work, the contractor will have the right to terminate you for being unfit for duty.

The drug test result will be changed to list as negative once you have proof of a legal prescription. This will mean that you are not subject to the Rehab steps in the National Pipeline Agreement or DOT.

This law has only been in effect for a month and it is proving to be very difficult to get our members through this process and on the job. There have only been a few members who have satisfied the MRO’s specifications. This is affecting many of our members who are simply trying to work for a living but are dealing with chronic pain. Feel free to contact the Dispatch Office at (918) 610-2761. We will do our best to assist you in this matter.

The Building & Trades work has been very slow this winter. We continue to search for Building & Trades work, but we truly expect that our pipeline work will arrive first and at a greater pace, so be prepared.

As of the date of this writing, the wheel has 1,374 Welders, 203 Journeymen, and 1,851 Helpers.

MORE 798 STORIES

  • Blue Light Report - July / August 2018
    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.
  • Blue Light Report 2 - July / August 2018
    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.
  • Blue Light Report Dispatch - July / August 2018
    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.
  • Blue Light Report Mid Atlantic - July / August 2018
    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.