I am writing my report at home while preparing for the last Nebraska Service Commission Hearing on the Keystone XL. Danny Hendrix, Wade Pilgreen, David Barnett, and Phillip Wallace have worked tirelessly on behalf of the membership to get this project approved. I am proud to be able to help them by commenting at the hearings. Some actions we take are visible, like with the Action Network where the click of a button gets quick results. Other actions, like public and town hall meetings, are part of a slow and tedious process to address concerns with environmentalists and landowners. Countless hours are spent working behind the scenes to ensure our livelihood remains strong.
The letters the membership have signed commenting on projects through action.local798.org is a tremendous help for advocating for jobs in the Pipeline Industry. If you have contributed, please continue. If you haven’t signed up yet, please do so. The environmentalists are attacking our industry, and we need all the help we can get to secure our jobs.
The work we are looking at in the West will be bid later this summer. Xcel has the Lancaster to Ft. Lupton, CO, Natural Gas Pipeline (4.1 Miles of 24 inch). They will also put the Tungsten to Bobtail Natural Gas Pipe to bid, which consists of 15 miles of pipe. The size is to be determined. Tallgrass has over 90 miles of 20 inch from Weld County to near Sterling, CO, that is up for bid in 2017 also.
We have been fortunate to retain some great helpers and welders from the West this year, and I welcome them to 798. We will be stronger with the new hands we have organized into the Local. I feel this could bring more job opportunities for the membership. The members who join will have to remain loyal to their oath of obligation which requires them not to work for unorganized contractors. And if they do, charges will be filed immediately. Members should relay to the new members the benefits of working Building Trades when Pipeline work is not available. Also, stress to new members the importance of contacting the Business Agents if offered work by non-signatory contractors.
I would like to close by asking everyone to keep Terry and Debbie Langley in your prayers for the challenge Terry has before him. Cancer, no matter what type, is the one disease that touches all of us. I urge you to find a charity of your choice that fights cancer and searches for the cure and contribute. Sometime in our lifetime maybe we will start to see a breakthrough and even a cure for this horrible disease.
Please call with questions or concerns and always remember; if we work together and strive for the same goals, we can achieve anything.
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.