Brothers and Sisters,
I will be retiring from Pipeliners Local Union 798 at the end of this year. I have had an incredible career as a 798 member and officer, but it is time to move on. I don’t know what the future has in store for Bonnie and me, but we will never forget the affection and comradery of our 798 family. We are 798 until death do us part!
On to the business at hand: The Sable Trail, South Florida expansion, and Williams expansion projects in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida are winding down. It appears that all mainline construction, tie-ins, testing, and gas-up will be completed by the end of June, and the LU 798 personnel should be terminated at that time. I have work continuing in Louisiana and Mississippi at this writing, and I have held one new station pre-job since my last report with no new pipeline jobs to report.
There are currently three non-union projects underway in Georgia that have my undivided attention. Above and beyond the normal aggravations related to our adversaries, these projects weren’t shown to any of our fair contractors (large or small). In fact, 18 miles of 24” congested pipeline at Atlanta, GA, is under construction within 30 minutes of a major PLCA contractor, Latex of Georgia. The job was simply awarded to a contractor (not), that if accused and convicted of being qualified, would be let go for lack of evidence.
The Louisiana work for Energy Transfer was awarded to Sunland and Troy. Those three spreads (164 miles of 24”) will commence in August. Our Local fought the good fight to secure that work, but it wasn’t meant to be. We will never stand for sub-standard wages and conditions in Louisiana or anywhere else, for that matter.
Gulf South Pipeline Corporation will bid a new compressor station and 1,000 feet of 16” (Louisiana) in the short term. Driftwood Pipeline has 96 miles of 42” and 36” with three new compressor stations in design, pre-construction, and pre-bid stage. The project will be built in south Louisiana, and construction is anticipated to begin in January 2018. Florida Utilities has 44 miles of 12” to build near Pensacola, FL. The project bids in August of this year.
Please call me if I can help you in any way.
MORE 798 STORIES
As PIBF Co-Chairman, I am proud to announce an accrual increase for the Welders, Journeymen, and Helpers. The Journeymen rate increased from $205 to $220, and the Helpers increased from $136 to $146 per credit. Additionally, retired members will enjoy a five percent increase in their monthly amount. After the pension raises were calculated, the fund is still at 110.8 percent!
2019 is rapidly coming to a close. If this year has taught us anything, it’s that we must be prepared to fight for every mile of pipeline that we get to lay.
I have been looking back over past Blue Light reports from 1974 to 1976, and I have found some very interesting information. I could copy and paste some of the 1974 reports, and you would not be able to tell the difference. The irony is unbelievable.
I hope this report finds everyone doing well. It was nice visiting with members during the September meeting, where we had nominations for officers for the upcoming election. I would like to congratulate all the candidates and wish each of you good luck in your endeavors. There is no greater honor than serving the members of this great local union.