This year has certainly flown by. It seems like only yesterday that the pending work in my jurisdiction was the hot topic at the National Pipeline Conference, and that was nine months ago. Those projects are in full swing now and about 85 percent manned at this printing. We currently have a total of 960 Welders, Journeymen, and Helpers working throughout my jurisdiction on mega projects that will last well into the spring and early summer. There is a lot of serious welding going on for the clients and contractors that demand quality and quantity, and our membership is getting the job done.
The current atmosphere of pipeline bashing is growing. I’m not sure that the anti-pipeline construction crowd is bigger than we are, but they surely are organized. Their minds are made up to stop every project, and they won’t be swayed. Reason is out the door, common sense be damned, and the livelihood and future of the pipeline construction industry is in grave jeopardy. We must respond loudly and quickly. So, what is the answer? We must fight fire with fire. We must become more organized than the opposition. And we must be more determined than they are. To advocate for our jobs was unheard of until recently. Now it is the new norm.
That means that we, as pipeliners, must become proactive, not reactive. We must fight for our livelihood in every locale in America where pipelines are constructed. To remain silent and complacent is no longer an option. Our jobs depend on it. If you believe it, you are well ahead of the curve. If you doubt it, you better get on board yesterday.
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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.