Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Like many of you, I am also disappointed in the many projects that have been stalled or delayed. All the more reason we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to advocate. Sadly, only about 50% of our members are actively engaged on our Action Network.
Brothers and Sisters, by the time you receive this report we should be starting a new year. I hope everyone enjoyed a Merry Christmas whether at home or on the job. We enjoyed a fantastic work year and from all accounts, the new year looks very promising.
Please be aware that steps have been taken by our foes to place yet another barricade in front of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. It's beyond me how anyone can think that enough has not been done after nearly ten years of impact studies and proper planning. These radical environmentalists have nothing better to do than to comb over documents searching for I’s that have not been dotted or t’s that have not been crossed so they can get some type of stop-work order. We must all do our part and make sure our names are on all Action Network petitions. Make sure your friends and relatives are on it as well. We need 100% participation. If you have a 798 book in your pocket or are related to people who make their living as pipeliners, your name should be there in support. Our jobs and livelihood literally depend on it.
It's been said, ‘’skilled labor isn’t cheap, and cheap labor isn’t skilled.” It seems that every time I turn around there is another accident of some kind in West Texas, whether it be new construction or related to system failures due to poor craftsmanship and quality control. It’s beyond me how any client would accept such liability simply to take advantage of what they feel is cheap labor. In the long run, it winds up being VERY expensive costing them triple the amount. The poor quality of work and production is the worst I have seen in my entire pipeline career. The total disregard for industry specifications, safety, and workers’ rights is unbelievable. I wonder where all the protesters are? If they ever wanted to protest something, West Texas would be the place to go, but it seems they have turned a blind eye to this area for some reason.
Many non-union welders fed up with low pay and poor working conditions joined our ranks this year. To them I would say, welcome Brothers and Sisters, you have made the right choice. Many remain on the other side, and I have no idea why. Our goal is to see that every pipeline welder in this country is a member of Local 798. I am willing to help anyone who has the skill to perform the work, but I can’t help someone who won’t help themselves. If you are working for sub-standard wages, have ever received a check that was short and not made right or have been lied to in order to get you on a job, then you are a victim of theft. They are stealing your money and your trust, and if you allow it, then it’s self-inflicted. The people who do this to you are not your friends, so stand up to them and demand to be treated fairly and to be respected. We are all pipeliners and should be working and fighting together for a common goal.
To all our members, talk to the guys in the non-union sector. Help them to understand the importance of solidarity among pipeliners. We all need to share in the task of organizing the unorganized. Help show them the right path, and that this is where you prosper and rise above the stagnation of the non-union side.
I hope everyone had a fantastic work year and hopefully, 2019 will be just as prosperous. If I can help anyone, do not hesitate to call. Please try to attend all membership meetings and support the Action Network.
Ronnie M. Hill
MORE 798 STORIES
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Like many of you, I am also disappointed in the many projects that have been stalled or delayed. All the more reason we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to advocate. Sadly, only about 50% of our members are actively engaged on our Action Network.
Brothers and Sisters, I hope this report finds each of you healthy and in good spirits. This year has obviously started out much slower than the last two. Through the month of May, we are well behind 2017 and 2018 man-hours, but we are still ahead of 2015 and 2016, which ended up being 6.8 million and 7.5 million man-hour years.
The pipeline hours are slower than in 2017 and 2018, but we are still ahead of 2015 and 2016, so work is not quite as slow as it may seem. We are not having a record year as we have had previously (that goal is unreasonable), but work is picking up. We have already needed to PPC-11 a nonbook to an Intermediate job in the Dakotas.
401(k) Distributions We are currently experiencing an unusually high volume of 401(k) calls and distribution applications. Please know that messages received by the Fund office will be returned and we are working to process the distribution applications in a timely manner.