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Blue Light Report - January / February 2020

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.

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Blue Light Report 2 - January / February 2019

What a year! I hope that 2018 proved to be a prosperous year for every member of Pipeliners Local Union 798. Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to start thinking about making plans for Steward School. 

It may seem far off now, but it will be here before we know it.  If you’re a newer member or have just been unable to attend in recent years, try to make plans to be here this year.  There’s always a lot of good content to take in from the contract session, and great fellowship at the rest of the week’s events.


I would like to congratulate Brother Chad Gilbert on his recent appointment as Special Representative to the UA Department of Pipeline and Gas Distribution.  This appointment was well earned, and I know Chad will continue to make Local 798 proud.  Chad has worked diligently out West to procure more work for our members and union contractors, and I know he will prove to be a valuable asset to the UA Pipeline Department.  We are proud of you, Chad.  I would also like to congratulate and welcome Justin Head as Chad’s replacement as Business Agent over the Western states.  Justin is a great addition to the Local 798 staff, and I know he will do a fantastic job.


If last year showed us anything, it’s that we can’t take any pipeline project for granted.  It seems that the permitting process for these jobs gets more stringent as time goes by.  We advocate for these projects long before construction starts, and then we must continue advocating right up until the job is complete.  I want to thank everyone who has participated in the Local 798 Action Network.  We are gaining ground in this aspect, and the clients are taking notice.  Please continue to check the Action Network for any new actions you can take.


I would like to mention a couple of items related to changes of classification from Helper member to Journeyman Spacer.  If you are a Helper member working towards a change of classification to a Journeyman Spacer, it is your responsibility to get with the Job Steward every week and let him know how many hours that you worked spacing and carrying the line.  It’s then the responsibility of the Job Steward to follow up and verify the hours and work performed, and then document the hours on the Manpower Report.  If you are asked to sign a letter of recommendation for a change of classification for a Helper member, be sure that you have witnessed the work performed.  When you sign this letter, you are telling us that you have seen the Helper member spacing and carrying the line, and that Helper is capable of performing those duties.  This system is proven and works well, but only when everyone is on the same page.


The work outlook for 2019 looks to be very strong.  Local 798 has truly been blessed with abundant work for the last several years, and we hope it continues for many years to come.  With that said, in this line of work, it’s never too early to plan for the slower times.  It may be years down the road, but slower times will come in the pipeline industry. 


Stay safe on the job, and we hope to see you at Steward School in April.  If there’s ever anything I can help with, please don’t hesitate to call.  As always, I am proud to serve the membership of Pipeliners Local Union 798.




Justin Wallace

Financial Secretary-Treasurer