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
As PIBF Co-Chairman, I am proud to announce an accrual increase for the Welders, Journeymen, and Helpers. The Journeymen rate increased from $205 to $220, and the Helpers increased from $136 to $146 per credit. Additionally, retired members will enjoy a five percent increase in their monthly amount. After the pension raises were calculated, the fund is still at 110.8 percent!
2019 is rapidly coming to a close. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we must be prepared to fight for every mile of pipeline that we get to lay.
I have been looking back over past Blue Light reports from 1974 to 1976, and I have found some very interesting information. I could copy and paste some of the 1974 reports, and you would not be able to tell the difference. The irony is unbelievable.
I hope this report finds everyone doing well. It was nice visiting with members during the September meeting, where we had nominations for officers for the upcoming election. I would like to congratulate all the candidates and wish each of you good luck in your endeavors. There is no greater honor than serving the members of this great local union.