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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I struggle with my words today to communicate the value of your work and advocacy going forward. We have been blessed abundantly for the last ten years, and the work outlook remains robust, but there are demons at our door.
Work is in full swing, and it is an amazing time to be a Local 798 Pipeliner! Looking at man-hours, we are pretty much even with where we were by this time last year. If you are working on one of our larger projects, you’ve probably noticed a Local 798 Action Network banner hanging in your warehouse location.
If you have a job, hang onto it! It appears we have reached the point where most of our large projects are nearly fully manned. I believe we will have work through the fall of this year. However, it will not be at the rate we have experienced this summer.
We are well into the work season and as you are aware, it is great. We have jobs going in almost all parts of the country and still have jobs waiting to start. The work in KY is picking up as well.