I am writing my report after attending the December meeting. I would like to start by congratulating all newly elected officers. It is an awesome responsibility to work for the membership, and I am sure those elected will do a great job. For those who ran and did not get elected, do not give up. Just because you did not win this election cycle does not mean that you are not a vital voice for our membership. We all share the load. Just as winning brings responsibilities, so does loss. Responsibilities include sharing your knowledge with your Brothers and Sisters in areas where you can assist, working together, and supporting the elected leaders. These things are required if we want to keep our Union strong.
The jobs in my area are winding down for the winter. Snelson has laid off all but a small crew in Henderson, CO, doing maintenance for Xcel Energy. Snelson plans on returning in the spring for what should be another season of work in the Denver area. Michels has reduced to one crew in Colorado Springs. Work for Magellan should be finishing shortly. The Phillips 66 work has been completed, and the Ameresco work in Phoenix will start back up in March 2017. We have started back on the Water Drains in Tucson for ARB and that should be completed by the time you receive this report. Q3 is finishing a Reg. Station for Xcel on its Blanket, and we also have welders working for UA Local 208 in Denver on distribution for Q3. Hopefully, all will start back up in Spring 2017 using even more manpower.
I would like to thank Danny and Wade for putting me on the Board of Directors for the Flaming Gorge Water Pipeline, a Wyco project. Although this job is at least three years away, I will be asking our members to help support this project. It will use union labor and we will help support the project on permit issues. The project consists of over 1,000 miles of water pipeline and will bring much needed water reserves to the Colorado region. These types of projects are hard to get permits for in the West, but if it can be done Local 798 can do it.
In closing, I hope all members and their families had a great 2016 and that 2017 will be even better. Don’t forget those members who had hardship last year. It’s our job to help lift them up and be there for them if we can. If I can be of any assistance, please call anytime.
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.