Dear Brothers and Sisters,
President Trump has been busy his first week on the job. Just as he promised on the campaign trail, he has pushed for the construction to finish on the Dakota Access and the Keystone XL. I’m not sure when we might see the KXL, but I feel fairly confident that the DAPL will be tied-in at the river before long. Many people, including myself, are wondering about the future pipeline permits now that FERC has only two commissioners. This board usually requires three members for a quorum to make decisions, so moving forward this board needs at least one appointment to fulfill its obligation. Even if an appointment is made, that person would have to be vetted through the Senate, which could take weeks or months. Who knows? At least six major projects totaling more than 10 billion dollars hang in the balance. This includes the Nexus, 250 miles of 36”/42”; PennEast,120 miles of 36”; and Northern Access Pipeline, 97 miles of 24”. Ten billion dollars worth of work is the exact reason we must continue to reach out through our Action Page to advocate for this infrastructure.
The good news is that on February 3 (the last day of three commissioners), FERC did approve the Rover Pipeline, which consists of 474 miles of 42” (MI, OH, PA, WV) and 240 miles of laterals (WV, PA, OH) 24”-42”. On the same day, FERC also approved the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (MD, VA, NC, SC) with 57 miles of 30” and 126 miles of 42”. Hopefully, job notifications for both projects will be forthcoming by the time you read the Blue Light. Even with these new challenges and obstacles in our way the work outlook remains very bright for the next few years.
We have recently started negotiations for the National Pipeline Agreement. Although we have not settled, I do anticipate that we will have a ratified agreement soon.
Steward School 2017 is upon us; I would like to extend an invitation to every member to attend. If you have never been, what are you waiting on? Monday, April 10, kicks the week off with our charity golf tournament benefiting our scholarship fund. Tuesday, April 11, a BBQ at the Training Center will be hosted by Lincoln Electric, and on Wednesday, April 12, school begins. Wednesday evening the Ladies of 798 will host their annual basket auction fundraiser. Thursday morning, April 13, it’s back to business with the interpretation of the contract. During the evening, we will honor our members with 50 or more years of service with dinner and entertainment. Friday, April 14, we will conclude the contract session at noon and head back to the Training Center for the crawfish and shrimp boil hosted by Miller Electric. The whole week will not only be educational, but a fun-filled atmosphere for meeting new people and visiting with good friends. If you are expecting to work as a Welder Foreman, Pipeman or job Steward, I too am expecting something---you to be here. As always, I am proud to say “I work for you, the greatest pipeliners in the world.”
Daniel C. Hendrix
MORE 798 STORIES
Dear Brothers and Sisters, It is a great time to be a pipeliner in Local 798. With over two million man hours worked this year, I would say that the work season is off to a fantastic start. The great news is that the work doesn’t appear to show signs of slowing down anytime soon. After seeing a record-breaking number of man hours worked in April, I predict that this will be a trend for the coming months as well. With that in mind, we must do our best to fulfill our obligation to our fair contractors. To fulfill our end of the bargain, we have nearly exhausted the Out-of-Work Lists and have heavily utilized the application list. In doing so, we have taken in many new members this year and will continue to do that to man the work. I ask that our long-time members welcome these new Brothers and Sisters to our membership and set the bar high for what it truly means to be a Local 798 member.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, I would like to begin my remarks today by thanking everyone who has stepped up and helped man our work. These are indeed historical times for our Local due to the sheer volume of members we are sending out to these jobs. And I am also excited about the new members we are receiving during this time. It is our responsibility to welcome and educate these new members on the standards of becoming a UA member. Black Schroeder and Guy Williams gave excellent presentations at Steward School. These presentations can be viewed on our website, www.local798.org, under the media tab. I would like to highlight just a few key points. Pipeline etiquette is making others feel comfortable by the way you behave, and thinking of others before yourself, because people will remember how you made them feel, whether good or bad. We must practice this belief on and off the ROW. It must become ingrained in us to treat others with respect and to be kind in our dealings with others. The etiquette of business is a set of written and unwritten rules of conduct: show up on time; be drug and alcohol free; help fellow members in time of need; support unionism and the oath of obligation; protect UA work; and protect the UA constitution and abide by it. Remember there is a proper chain of command when dealing with issues on the ROW. Always start with the Welder Foreman, then proceed to the Job Steward, then to the Business Agent if needed. Any type of harassment on the job will not be tolerated, neither will any type of disrespect to the Welder Foreman, Job Steward, or any UA member. Many people become UA members because they expect to be treated fairly, and are willing to abide by our code of conduct.
The work exploded April 10, 2017. We had the largest order EVER for one day. During my two years as Dispatcher, we’ve had 65, 73 or 80 dispatches to perform in a day. On April 10, 2017, we had orders for 150 people, approximately 50 welders and 100 helpers. It stayed at that volume for over a week. During the surge in 2008, we only had one or two days of 100 dispatches.
I am writing this report from home. The work, as you know, is great. We are having a hard time filling some of these jobs, so I encourage you, if you aren’t already working, to apply for jobs on the Job Line. We need everyone’s help in manning these jobs because if we don’t man the work, the non-union will. Let’s not let the non-union get any stronger than they already are. The work in my area is manned up for now, but I am still sending in a few hands on the special agreement work.