The work in the Northeast has slowed down, and we look forward to the 2017 work season. Historically in the Northeast, winter work has been slow, with the exception being the winters of 2008 through 2012. This one looks to be slow like those of the past.
As for 2017, we have some major projects on the docket, including the Atlantic Bridge in New York and Connecticut, the Mariner East II in Pennsylvania, and the Rover lateral lines that run into West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Keep in mind that permits are pending on these projects, but I am hopeful that they will go in 2017. Also, a number of “unnamed” projects will take place in 2017. “Permits pending” is a phrase that we hear a lot these days in our industry. This phrase makes it hard to predict the starting dates on many of these projects.
I am glad to report that 798 is taking a proactive approach to this issue by developing a web page so that we can actively advocate for upcoming pipeline projects in our country. We received a snapshot of what this webpage can do for our Local during the December membership meeting. When this page is ready in a couple of weeks, please be sure to check it out and use it as an action tool to let your voice be heard in this new battle that is being waged against our way of life.
Wade and Danny have worked hard to get this thing going and now it is up to you, the membership, to follow through by doing your part. I feel it is now our job as a union to take full advantage of this page by using and sharing with those who are less educated about what we do. We have approximately 6,500 members and I hope that every single one of us uses this page to our advantage, and we make it grow to unimaginable heights. We had roughly 26 percent of the membership vote in our election. If that holds true in regards to our new webpage, we will fail and our voice will not be heard. The environmentalists are passionate, and we must be more passionate than they are. Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Remember these words as we move forward together as a Local union in this new environmentally challenged era of the pipeline industry.
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.