Wow! What a winter this has been. 798 membership stood up in our recent union election and knocked it out of the park. Congratulations to Danny, Wade, and all the newly elected officers. And a special thank you to every candidate that sought office. Participating in our Local’s affairs makes us stronger, and that makes us all winners.
As an organization, we are on the mountain top, but I think the sky is the limit. And we have so much to be thankful for. When I count my blessings that I am a 798 Pipeliner, I find myself more and more grateful each time. The good things that Local 798 provides its membership far outweighs the un-pleasantries that occur in our business.
We all know that Local 798 is the concrete that holds the pipeline construction industry together. That is a given. Even the open shop that professes to despise us, follows our every move and listens to our every word. The big non-union contractors didn’t just happen. When we connect the dots (and look deep into their history), they grew because unionists or former unionists helped them grow. It is kind of like a brush fire. The more you fan it, the bigger it gets. So, what am I saying? We must fight for what is ours. We are either union or we are not. There can’t be a middle ground. It doesn’t exist. We know the rules and our contractors know the benefits and risks. Support our union! Give our contractors a fair day’s work for a day’s pay. Work smart and proud. Don’t just hang out on the back seat. Fight for that front seat. That’s where the action is.
2017 has the potential to be an awesome pipe-lay year, and 2018 could turn out to be the pipeline year that we’ve all dreamed of. Danny and Wade are focused on the present, but they are looking to our future as well. Remember, their vision must be our vision. And the United Association’s new team, led by Brother Mark McManus, has a plan (in place) that will grow the UA and increase market share across the board. Yes sir, the stars are aligned for Pipeliners Local Union 798 and The United Association.
By the time this report gets to your mailbox or job site, much of the pipe will be laid across my jurisdiction, and many 798 members will have an eye on the next job. Back-end crews will continue lowering in, tying in, and testing of the newly completed pipelines, connections, and fabrication for some time to come. I want to thank the Welders, Journeymen, and Helpers who went above and beyond. You certainly know who you are and what you did. You are a magnificent silent majority that goes to work every day and does your thing. Thank you.
Don’t forget the 2017 Steward School. A full week of training, activities, comradery, fun, and food are planned. The week is centered around the entire family unit. PIBF has some important (free) health care tests for those interested. The Ladies of 798 Basket Auction is like the world’s fair. It just gets bigger and better. And the facilities, if you’ve never been to the “HALL”, will blow your mind. Thinking back some 50 years to my first Tulsa visit, it was exciting and bold for this teenager. Today I get starry-eyed thinking that I got to make some small difference.
Phoenix City, AL. 16+ miles of 36” underway for Sable Trail Pipeline.
Mobile, AL. 4,500 feet of 24” (starting date February 10, 2017). Mainline rates, congested for the Southern Company, one of America’s leading electric producing companies.
I would like to add some wonderful news. The Southern Company is dedicated to using all union labor on its projects, including pipeline and station. The Southern Company is comprised of Georgia Power, Alabama Power, Mississippi Power and Light, and Georgia Natural Gas, to name a few of the key companies under a very large umbrella.
Call on me if I can be of assistance. I will do what I can, if I can.
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.