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
I want to thank everyone for their calls and letters of condolences concerning my father, Doyle Hendrix, on his passing. I was truly blessed to have him for 82 years and to have him as a mentor my whole life. His face and voice will be with me for as long as I live. I am grateful for that and grateful for the outpouring of sympathy from the membership.
I want to start by thanking every member that is doing their part to make the Action Network a success. We’ve had several opportunities lately to take action with the Cheyenne Connector Project, the Northeast Supply Enhancement, Jordan Cove Project, the Line 5 Project, and the Line 3 Project.
The current number of members on the out-of-work list is as follows: Welders – 1,287; Journeyman – 207; and Helpers – 1,655. The out-of-work numbers do not reflect the members who are working building trades and still on the out-of-work list.
401(k) Plan We frequently are asked about taking a loan against a member’s 401(k) balance. The Pipeline Industry 401(k) Plan does not allow participant loans. 401(k) loan repayment must be set up as a deduction from payroll. Due to the nature of the construction industry, working for different contractors for various time frames doesn’t allow for consistent repayment of the loan, which would cause the loan to be in default.