Brothers and Sisters,
Hopefully, by the time you receive this report the work this spring will have sprung. I fully expect that we will shadow our record numbers and possibly could shatter the record of 12 million manhours set back in 1968.
Could the work just dry up and disappear? If you spent your whole career in the pipeline industry, you’ve seen it go from wide open to dead still in a matter of months. It is important that you, as a member of Local 798, understand that almost every piece of fossil fuel infrastructure will be contested going forward into the future. Our opponents have developed new strategies to increase the financial risks of these pipeline projects. Blocking and stalling permits causes a viable concern for banks who finance the work. Bankers do not like risk, they like certainty. However, the strategy of delay is more than just economics. It is an opportunity for these opponents to not only raise “awareness,” but at the same time raise funds to oppose future projects.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I’d like to thank the membership for entrusting me to serve as Financial Secretary-Treasurer of this great Local Union. I really appreciate that we were able to have a smooth transition as Wade Pilgreen moved into retirement. We had a really good turnout for the January membership meeting, with plenty of good information for members to take back home and to the jobsites. We finished up 2017 with just over 11.6 million manhours, which came in just short of the hours worked in 2008. I still believe 2018 may top both of those years.
2018 Steward School is not far off, and we hope to see you there. Make arrangements to attend, if at all possible, and bring your family. There are plenty of activities scheduled for everyone. If you’ve never participated in the George Lambert/Harry Faucett, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament, consider putting a team together and coming out on Monday, or sign up individually and you will be placed with a team. If you are a Job Steward or think that you may be asked to steward a job in the future, please try to make the Steward Reporting Class. It will follow the Lincoln Electric BBQ Lunch, at the Training Center on Tuesday, April 10, at 1 p.m. Even if you already have experience as a Steward, the class is always a good chance to brush up.
The Ladies of 798 Basket Auction is on Wednesday evening, and if you’ve never participated in this, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. Countless charities have benefitted from this, and it’s only grown over the years, thanks to the generosity of our membership. Just think of all the good works our membership and their families do every year: the basket auction; providing Christmas for the battered women’s shelter; putting shoes on the feet of children who may not have ever had a new pair of shoes; the list goes on and on. Local 798 Pipeliners are truly the most generous group of people in the world. Also, make plans to attend the Retiree Banquet on Thursday evening April 12. Members with 50+ years of service are honored at the banquet, and it’s always nice to hear the words of advice and encouragement they offer up. We all owe these retirees a debt of gratitude for laying the foundation and setting the conditions that we all work under today. All of this is followed up by the regular membership meeting on Friday evening, April 13.
Please remember to participate in Local 798’s Action Network. Once you’ve activated your account, it’s as easy as a few clicks to sign your name to petitions and show your support for these projects. Some of you are doing a fantastic job by taking every action that comes through, but many are not participating at all. As Local 798 members, we all know there is strength in numbers, and we must use our numbers to advocate for these projects. The clients are taking notice, and if all of us participate, it will continue to pay off in jobs for our members. Welder Foremen and Job Stewards, please make a habit of speaking to members on your jobs about signing up and participating in the Action Network. Advocacy is going to be the tool that helps us get more of the market share.
If there’s anything I can ever help you with, please don’t hesitate to call. I am always proud to have the opportunity to serve the membership of this great Local.
MORE 798 STORIES
I am writing this report after returning from Florida. These past couple of months have been spent traveling around, meeting and greeting people, and exploring all the job opportunities that are coming up for bid in the South.
I am writing my report in route to the Colorado Water & Energy Conference. The conference will bring together U.S and Canadian senior leaders in Energy Development and Water Infrastructure planning. I am looking forward to sitting at the table with the men and women who plan infrastructure development in Colorado and throughout the West. I will do my best to relay that Local 798 is looking to be a partner in the construction of all pipelines planned for future development.
The 2018 work season has started already, and this year will be another busy one for everyone. The mainline work will again be in the Northeast to get the Marcellus and Utica Shale Natural Gas out of the gas fields to be distributed to American homes and businesses. Natural gas will be the product that keeps our members working for many years to come.
So far, 2018 is starting out like last year. Several projects have gone out for bid in Texas, but our fair contractors have had no success picking up any jobs. Everyone’s saying the same thing: the work is going cheap.