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125 Years Strong – An IUOE History

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Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the founding of the International Union of Operating Engineers


INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS The I.U.O.E. commemorated its pending 100 th Anniversary on December 7, 1996, with a week-long celebration in mid-January that year, by which time the union numbered about 360,000 members, making it the 12 th - largest organization in the A.F.L.-C.I.O. The dominant themes during the festivities were “A Century of Craftsmanship” and “100 Years of Service to the Membership.” During the week, more than 1,300 operating engineers, union officers, their guests and dignitaries from labor, management and government joined together for a banquet to mark the historic occasion. In his keynote address for the celebration, General President Hanley highlighted the union’s advancement through the years and outlined a blueprint for “an even better next 100 years,” declaring the union’s strength was its membership. “This celebration is a tribute to the very lifeblood of the I.U.O.E., our members,” he stated. “They are the true driving force behind all of our successes.” HAZMAT TRAINING WAS FOCUS OF CABLE SHOW The revered I.U.O.E. National Hazardous-Material (HAZMAT) Training Program was featured on a segment of The Discovery Channel’s weekly “Today’s Environment” show that aired in October 1994. A film crew from the show visited the union’s National HAZMAT Training Center at the National Mine Safety and Health Academy in Beaver, West Virginia, in late August that year to document the center’s training program, which prepares operating engineers to work in the hazardous waste and environmental fields. As part of the production, I.U.O.E. HAZMAT instructors and members of local unions demonstrated training exercises that featured removing radioactive rods from a simulated nuclear facility; emergency response to a simulated accident involving a trailer hauling hazardous waste; the rescue of a worker trapped in a confined space; and the cleanup of a simulated hazardous waste site. Local No. 18 of Cleveland, Local No. 37 of Baltimore and Local No. 132 of Charleston, West Virginia, provided heavy equipment used for shooting the feature, which was available to over 100-million people worldwide via The Discovery Channel network. Through the I.U.O.E. National Training Fund, the HAZMAT Training Program has been educating operating engineers, stationary engineers and other workers since 1987 through cooperative agreements awarded by the National Institute of Environmental Health and Sciences Worker Training Program. As the union celebrates its 125 th anniversary in 2021, its HAZMAT program has provided safety and health training to more than 529,000 workers. Members of I.U.O.E. Local No. 57 of Rhode Island help erect the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge over the West Passage of Narragansett Bay in 1989. Construction on the bridge, which carries a portion of the cross-state Rhode Island Route 138, began in 1985 and was completed in 1992. The general president further pointed out that in its 100 th year since being organized by just 11 men on December 7, 1896, the union was in the “most solid financial shape” it had ever been, thanks to its officers having “kept a careful eye” on its finances and making “carefully calculated, judicious investments” of the members’ monies. He also noted that his administration had cut out wasteful spending LABOR OMNIA VINCIT WORK CONQUERS ALL

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