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 am writing this Blue Light report after returning from the 2017 Marcellus-Utica Conference. This year’s conference had a more positive atmosphere due to expected deregulation of the current permitting process. During the conference I listened to gas company CEOs speak about how great the demand is for Northeast Marcellus gas. When there is demand, you need supply, and that is where 798 steps in. The pipelines we build supply the gas needed as our country continues to grow and inevitably demands more energy. There are quite a few projects scheduled for this year, and in 2018 that will help with the supply vs. demand issue that we currently face.
I am writing my report from my office in Colorado where we have had a hard winter this year. Spring is starting to try to peak through, and we are all ready to get the year started off right by attending the Local Union 798 Steward School in Tulsa, OK.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, President Trump has been busy his first week on the job. Just as he promised on the campaign trail, he has pushed for the construction to finish on the Dakota Access and the Keystone XL. I’m not sure when we might see the KXL, but I feel fairly confident that the DAPL will be tied-in at the river before long. Many people, including myself, are wondering about the future pipeline permits now that FERC has only two commissioners. This board usually requires three members for a quorum to make decisions, so moving forward this board needs at least one appointment to fulfill its obligation. Even if an appointment is made, that person would have to be vetted through the Senate, which could take weeks or months. Who knows? At least six major projects totaling more than 10 billion dollars hang in the balance. This includes the Nexus, 250 miles of 36”/42”; PennEast,120 miles of 36”; and Northern Access Pipeline, 97 miles of 24”. Ten billion dollars worth of work is the exact reason we must continue to reach out through our Action Page to advocate for this infrastructure.
Brothers and Sisters, I am writing this report from West Texas while checking on non-union jobs. The work out here is still slow, but a few smaller jobs are going on. It seems the drilling is starting to pick up in this area so that’s always a good sign for us. As usual, when the work slows the non-union waste no time slashing wages and good conditions are nonexistent. Many are working for contract wages with no overtime, furnishing consumables or liability insurance.