1 year ago

125 Years Strong – An IUOE History

  • Text
  • Wwwiuoeorg
  • Vincit
  • Omnia
  • Engineer
  • Convention
  • Membership
  • Locals
  • Operating
  • Engineers
Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the founding of the International Union of Operating Engineers


INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS and declared he will “never hesitate to spend money on programs and requests that benefit our members and their families.” Delegates to the celebration also took part in week-long workshops covering topics such as worker health and safety; national agreements; Davis-Bacon laws; COMET programs; stationary-engineer training programs; hazardous-materials (hazmat) training and work opportunities; pension tracking; and legal issues. As 1996 progressed, in the fall the I.U.O.E. and the U.S. Department of Energy opened their joint International Environmental Technology and Training Center in Beckley, West Virginia. Operated through the I.U.O.E. National Hazmat Program, the facility provides a site where U.S. companies can test and demonstrate the effectiveness of new environmental technologies, as well as assess how those technologies impact human factors such as worker health and safety. A paving crew of California-based I.U.O.E. Local No. 3 members works on Interstate 40 in 1990. Later that year, the I.U.O.E. and its members once again were an influential force on the political landscape as the international and its local unions expended unprecedented grassroots, financial and educational efforts in the 1996 elections. As a result, the operating engineers and all organized labor were able to shift voters’ focus from the ill-advised tenets of the business-driven Contract with America to issues that concerned and motivated working Americans, such as pensions, job security, education, prevailing wages, Medicare/Social Security and healthcare, which became the defining issues of the elections. Reaching and surpassing its century mark, the late-1990s overall was a time of steady work for the vast majority of the union’s members in the United States and Canada. Included in the major jobs on which I.U.O.E. members worked over that period was construction of the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in downtown St. Louis, the largest federal I.U.O.E. Local No. 501 and other organized-labor groups participate in pickets on September 7, 1992, against The Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas as part of their six-year, four-month and 10-day strike against the hotel’s owners. (Photo used with permission of Culinary Workers Union Local No. 226.) courthouse in the United States when completed in 2000, which employed 50 members of Local No. 513 from the time the project began with core and foundation work in June 1996. A peak of approximately 140 members of Local No. 150 of northern Illinois and Indiana were also playing a major role in constructing the world’s most-advanced coke-producing facility, the Inland Steel Company’s Indiana Harbor Works complex in East Chicago, Indiana, which began in December 1996 with site preparation and excavation performed by the operating engineers. When completed in mid-1998, the plant could annually produce 1.33-million tons of coke, a key product in manufacturing steel. During the I.U.O.E. 35 th General Convention in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, from April 27 to 30, 1998, delegates increased the locals’ per-capita tax and minimum local union dues each by 25 cents per year for the following four years. The I.U.O.E. had one of the lowest per-capita rates Victory After More Than Six Years LOCAL PART OF LONGEST-EVER STRIKE Members of I.U.O.E. Local No. 501 of Southern California and Southern Nevada and three other unions won the longest strike in modern-day history when a new contract with the new owner of The Frontier Hotel on the Las Vegas strip went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on February 1, 1998. The six-year, four-month and 10-day-long strike culminated in a five-year agreement that provided all workers with a “couple-dollars-per-hour” raise in wages above what the former owner was paying replacement workers. On September 21, 1991, 550 hospitality workers walked off their jobs at The Frontier to protest unfair wages and treatment and maintained their strike line 24 hours per day/7 days per week, during which no striker ever crossed the line. Along with Local 501, Culinary Workers Union Local No. 226, Bartenders Union Local No. 165 and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local No. 995 organized the strike. Termination of the strike was put into motion after Phil Ruffin purchased the resort from the Elardi family on October 28, 1997, and “promised to restore the original workers to their jobs, honor union contracts and provide back pay and benefits for the strikers,” according to a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries report. The strike began after the previous owner eliminated pension plans, cut wages and healthcare benefits and gutted job-security provisions. “Certainly, our successful waging of this strike over the years could not have been accomplished without the unending support of the I.U.O.E. and General President Frank Hanley,” Local 501 Business Manager Jim McLaughlin said in the December 1997 International Operating Engineer, “and the many other union leaders and members who contributed so much to our efforts.” in the entire labor movement at per member, per month, which had not been changed in 10 years, and with the new rate, it would go to .25 on July 1 of that year and increase by 25 cents on July 1 of the three succeeding years for a total raise over four years. The delegates also approved a constitutional amendment expanding the General Executive Board from 11 to 14 members and unanimously re-elected General President Hanley to another five-year term. Into the final year of the decade, the century and the millennium, construction employment in North America was stronger than it had been at any time in the previous two decades and economic growth was creating stationaryengineering jobs at an unprecedented rate. LABOR OMNIA VINCIT WORK CONQUERS ALL

©2010 International Union of Operating Engineers. All Rights Reserved.|Terms Of Use|Privacy Statement|Sitemap