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
Dear Brothers and Sisters, It is a great time to be a pipeliner in Local 798. With over two million man hours worked this year, I would say that the work season is off to a fantastic start. The great news is that the work doesn’t appear to show signs of slowing down anytime soon. After seeing a record-breaking number of man hours worked in April, I predict that this will be a trend for the coming months as well. With that in mind, we must do our best to fulfill our obligation to our fair contractors. To fulfill our end of the bargain, we have nearly exhausted the Out-of-Work Lists and have heavily utilized the application list. In doing so, we have taken in many new members this year and will continue to do that to man the work. I ask that our long-time members welcome these new Brothers and Sisters to our membership and set the bar high for what it truly means to be a Local 798 member.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, I would like to begin my remarks today by thanking everyone who has stepped up and helped man our work. These are indeed historical times for our Local due to the sheer volume of members we are sending out to these jobs. And I am also excited about the new members we are receiving during this time. It is our responsibility to welcome and educate these new members on the standards of becoming a UA member. Black Schroeder and Guy Williams gave excellent presentations at Steward School. These presentations can be viewed on our website, www.local798.org, under the media tab. I would like to highlight just a few key points. Pipeline etiquette is making others feel comfortable by the way you behave, and thinking of others before yourself, because people will remember how you made them feel, whether good or bad. We must practice this belief on and off the ROW. It must become ingrained in us to treat others with respect and to be kind in our dealings with others. The etiquette of business is a set of written and unwritten rules of conduct: show up on time; be drug and alcohol free; help fellow members in time of need; support unionism and the oath of obligation; protect UA work; and protect the UA constitution and abide by it. Remember there is a proper chain of command when dealing with issues on the ROW. Always start with the Welder Foreman, then proceed to the Job Steward, then to the Business Agent if needed. Any type of harassment on the job will not be tolerated, neither will any type of disrespect to the Welder Foreman, Job Steward, or any UA member. Many people become UA members because they expect to be treated fairly, and are willing to abide by our code of conduct.
The work exploded April 10, 2017. We had the largest order EVER for one day. During my two years as Dispatcher, we’ve had 65, 73 or 80 dispatches to perform in a day. On April 10, 2017, we had orders for 150 people, approximately 50 welders and 100 helpers. It stayed at that volume for over a week. During the surge in 2008, we only had one or two days of 100 dispatches.
I am writing this report from home. The work, as you know, is great. We are having a hard time filling some of these jobs, so I encourage you, if you aren’t already working, to apply for jobs on the Job Line. We need everyone’s help in manning these jobs because if we don’t man the work, the non-union will. Let’s not let the non-union get any stronger than they already are. The work in my area is manned up for now, but I am still sending in a few hands on the special agreement work.