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
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.