This year we will be celebrating our 70th Anniversary as a Local Union. We were chartered on November 21, 1949. I want to thank all our charter members and retired members that stuck together through good times and bad to ensure they achieved better working conditions, wages, healthcare, and a sustainable pension.
Most of our active members today, myself included, had the privilege of joining 798. The men I mentioned above, created and built the Legacy of Pipeliners 798 from a vision to a reality. To all of you men, we are indebted, and the only way to pay it back is to never forget your sacrifices by continuing the cardinal principles and standards that you set forth by your example.
2019 Steward School is just around the corner. We will kick off the week with our annual charity golf tournament on Monday, April 8, 2019. Lincoln Electric will host a BBQ on Tuesday, April 9th, at the Local 798 Training Center. Steward School officially runs from Wednesday, April 10th, through Friday, April 12th, concluding around noon with a shrimp and crawfish boil hosted by Miller Electric at the Local 798 Training Center. There is no better place to meet and greet old acquaintances, make new friends and business contacts. This year we will be giving out a very special 70th Anniversary gift to everyone who attends, so make your plans early as rooms at the area hotels fill up quickly.
I am proud to announce that Business Agent Chad Gilbert has been appointed to the position of UA Special Representative by UA General President Mark McManus. Chad will be assigned to work directly with the UA Pipeline Department under the Director of Pipeline and Gas Distribution, David Barnett. Chad has served 798 in many capacities diligently; the last 12 years as Business Agent in our jurisdiction out West. This moment is bittersweet, but I’m proud of his appointment and proud that Chad and 798 are recognized for their leadership in the pipeline industry.
I have appointed Journeyman Welder Justin Head to take over as Business Agent effective January 1, 2019. Justin joined the Local as a Helper in 2002 and changed his classification to Welder in 2005. He has worked across our jurisdiction in the capacity of Welder Foreman and Job Steward, serving his Local Union with distinction. I look forward to Justin joining our team as we strive to move our vision forward.
Just recently, we had a meeting at our Training Center with Williams Companies. D.R. “Bud” Rains, Director of Projects/Onshore Construction, along with 12 other pipeline personnel from Williams. They accepted our invitation to sit with us and discuss what 798 members and our Training Center is doing for the future of the pipeline industry. Williams is an industry-leading operation across the natural gas value chain including gathering, processing, interstate transportation and storage of natural gas and natural gas liquids. Williams owns and operates more than 33,000 miles of pipelines including Transco. Williams’ operations handle approximately 30% of U.S. natural gas. One of the projects that we provided labor to this year for Williams was the Atlantic Sunrise, 192 miles of 36 inch. The meeting went extremely well, and they were very impressed with the investment 798 makes every day in training and with our 798 Action Page. Advocating and providing the best pipeline constructors is what they are looking for as they move forward with more projects in the future.
A couple of weeks back in Houston, Local 798 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sac and Fox Tribe. The capital of the Sac and Fox Nation is Cushing, Oklahoma, the Pipeline Crossroads of the World. The significance of this Tribal/Union partnership, when utilized properly, should bear fruit for the members of the Sac and Fox Nation along with the members of Pipeliners Local 798 for decades to come.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2018 just flew by, and the work was fantastic with man hours exceeding over 11 million. By all accounts, 2019 looks to be even bigger! Local 798 and its members have been truly blessed. Last but not least, remember that in unity there is strength. The most important job on the ROW is yours, PROTECT IT BY BEING THE VERY BEST AT IT. Always work collectively, and union; the devil hates unity. As always, I am proud to say, “I work for you, the greatest pipeliners in the world.”
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Dear Brothers and Sisters, I hope everyone had a great holiday season and a Merry Christmas. As seasons go, to me, winter is a time for reflection and a time to prepare for the upcoming spring and summer.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, I hope that each one of you was able to spend some time with your families and enjoy the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
First, I want to say that I hope everyone has a great new year filled with prosperity and good health for their entire family.
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