I want to thank everyone for their calls and letters of condolences concerning my father, Doyle Hendrix, on his passing. I was truly blessed to have him for 82 years and to have him as a mentor my whole life. His face and voice will be with me for as long as I live. I am grateful for that and grateful for the outpouring of sympathy from the membership.
Here in the Dispatch Office, we want to begin with wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
I‘m sure the Business Manager, and Business Agents will address the work outlook sufficiently, so I would like to address some things we need to do to prepare for the new year. Please make sure you are on the Out-of-Work List. Also, double check your Out-of-Work Card to be certain that you have the appropriate skills checked. Anyone who has not made their way to Tulsa to take their initial qualification weld test after gaining membership, please arrange to do so now. If you are not scheduled for your test, you will not be dispatched.
At the end of every year, we always have several members who need just a few more hours to get over that hump of 1,200, 1,800, and 2,200. It is not easy, but it can be done by working Building and Trades jobs. They do not pay as well or seldom do they match our benefits hour for hour, but a few more hours could be what you need to get over the top at the end of the year. Getting your UA Certifications, OSHA 10 Card, or TWIC Card are some of the tools you need to get on Building and Trades work. Heli-Arc and Stick Rod Welders are in high demand. Sometimes we can find projects that need Stick Rod only, but there is not an abundance of these. The Combo Welder (Heli-Arc and Stick) is what they are usually looking for, and the stainless Heli-Arc Welder is the highest in demand. Good stainless Welders seem to find work the quickest and are seldom unemployed, so keep these options in mind.
The Training Center will be glad to help you get your skill level up to the performance level needed for these different types of welding. Young men and women are paying $20,000 to attend private schools to learn this type of welding. As a member of 798, the Training Center is available to you. All you need to do is to cover your room and board. There is no better deal around!
At this time, we are considering having a Tube Bending class for those that may be interested. Please call the Dispatch Office if this is of interest to you. I am also looking into rigging classes at other Locals that might allow our members to attend. On the Building and Trades side, rigging certifications for the Journeyman are becoming “must have” items.
In closing, I want to again wish everyone a Happy New Year, and a year filled with prosperity in every form for your entire family. During these winter months of January and February, let us lay the foundation for success by preparing to get back out into the field. Getting our business at home taken care of and being prepared when the work does break is important. Be safe this year.
Some of the tools you will need to get a Building and Trades job:
- UA Certifications (Certifications are good for six months.)
- OSHA 10 Card (Renewed every three years is advised.)
- TWIC Card (Required for workers who need access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime facilities and vessels, good for five years.)
MORE 798 STORIES
I want to start by thanking every member that is doing their part to make the Action Network a success. We’ve had several opportunities lately to take action with the Cheyenne Connector Project, the Northeast Supply Enhancement, Jordan Cove Project, the Line 5 Project, and the Line 3 Project.
The current number of members on the out-of-work list is as follows: Welders – 1,287; Journeyman – 207; and Helpers – 1,655. The out-of-work numbers do not reflect the members who are working building trades and still on the out-of-work list.
401(k) Plan We frequently are asked about taking a loan against a member’s 401(k) balance. The Pipeline Industry 401(k) Plan does not allow participant loans. 401(k) loan repayment must be set up as a deduction from payroll. Due to the nature of the construction industry, working for different contractors for various time frames doesn’t allow for consistent repayment of the loan, which would cause the loan to be in default.