I am writing this Blue Light report after returning from the 2017 Marcellus-Utica Conference. This year’s conference had a more positive atmosphere due to expected deregulation of the current permitting process. During the conference I listened to gas company CEOs speak about how great the demand is for Northeast Marcellus gas. When there is demand, you need supply, and that is where 798 steps in. The pipelines we build supply the gas needed as our country continues to grow and inevitably demands more energy. There are quite a few projects scheduled for this year, and in 2018 that will help with the supply vs. demand issue that we currently face.
Some of these Northeast projects are: Sunoco’s Mariner East 2; National Fuel’s Northern Access Project; Columbia Gas/TransCanada’s Leach Express and Mountaineer Express; Spectra’s Atlantic Bridge; Williams’ Atlantic Sunrise; and Energy Transfer’s Rover project laterals that run into West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Although I am speculating, I think Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline and EQT’s Mountain Valley Pipeline will be 2018 projects, unless the permitting process speeds up exponentially. The jobs described above are mainline projects that will have compressor stations and other various facilities we will man. I also haven’t touched on the smaller projects that go every year in this region. In my opinion, 2017 looks to be a solid year.
Rick and I will soon be traveling throughout New York to advocate for National Fuel’s Northern Access project. Even as the work picks up we can’t forget about our strategy to speak out in favor of our livelihood. At the Marcellus Conference, Williams CEO Alan Armstrong thanked 798 and several other labor organizations for our support of their Atlantic Sunrise project. We are getting noticed. I just hope that these high-level executives don’t forget about what we are doing and have done, when they assign bids on future jobs. It would serve them well to use the best Welders, Helpers and Journeyman in the world if they want their project completed on time and under budget. Let’s use 2017 to show the clients we are the best by doing our jobs in a professional manner, while keeping safety and quality at the forefront of everything we do. If we do these things, we will most assuredly prosper as a whole.
I look forward to seeing the membership soon at Steward School. If you’ve never been you need to go. I have always been told that if you are going to be a part of something, then you should actually be a part of it. Steward School is an important and unique part of what makes us who we are as a Local. Please make your travel arrangements if you haven’t already done so.
Blairs, VA. 112 miles of 30” Launcher and receiver modifications, valve replacements, gap replacements. Superintendent: Daniel Bendickson. Integrity Management paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
Canonsburg, PA. Replace 8.2 miles of existing 20” pipeline. Superintendent: Fred Leasure. Welder Foreman: Cody Dye. Integrity Management paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
Providence, RI. 2”-20” Meter and Regulation Station. Superintendent: Jim Smilikis. Welder Foreman: Steve Coraci. Station Agreement paying High-Scale. Working 6-10s.
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.