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International Operating Engineer - Fall 2017

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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers.


Feature OVER A THREE month span, record breaking hurricanes and wildfires left a path of death and destruction through parts of the United States and Canada. Scores of IUOE members and their families were forced to evacuate their homes, with many suffering significant property damage. Some lost everything. In the aftermath, Operating Engineers are hard at work helping family members, neighbors and complete strangers begin the long process of rebuilding their homes, schools and communities. Individual members, Local unions and the International have all stepped up with offers of assistance – both financial and physical. The IUOE National Charity Fund has received nearly 0,000 in donations from Locals and individual members since August. To date, the Fund has paid out 0,000 to IUOE members who suffered damages related to the storms and wildfires. In addition, members have travelled far from home to assist in the recovery work. In late August, nineteen separate wildfires merged to create the largest wildfire ever recorded in British Columbia’s history. The massive Plateau fire consumed an estimated 520,000 hectares (2,008 sq/mi) and displaced thousands. BC firefighters, along with dozens of aircraft piloted by IUOE Local 115 members, fought more than 123 wildfires within the province during the season. Aerial firefighting is a highly skilled and very dangerous profession, and the Local 115 members employed by Conair Group Inc. are among the best in the business. Around the same time, the Texas Gulf Coast was walloped by Hurricane Harvey. It inflicted nearly 0 billion in damage primarily from widespread flooding in the Houston metropolitan area. In a four-day period, with peak rain accumulations of 64.58 in (164.0 cm), Harvey is now the wettest storm on record in the United States. Over 100 members of Locals 450 and 564 sustained serious property damage and have received help from the union relief fund. Local 564 Business Manager Charlie Singletary said, “Whenever our family is in need, our brothers and sisters from the IUOE always step up and show what big hearts they have. I’m damn proud to be an Operating Engineer.” TEXAS TEXAS Rebuilding Community Natural disasters put Operating Engineers on front line of recovery efforts TEXAS TEXAS [top, left] Local 450 member Dwight Chandler’s house in Texas. [top, right] The Local 564 hall was not immune to Harvey’s rain. [middle, left] Local 450 member Ted Koch begins clean-up at his home. [middle, middle] Local 564 member Marc Garcia, his wife and daughter escaped their home with an inflatable life raft that he kept in storage. [middle, right] Local 115 Conair Group pilots battling wildfires in BC. [bottom, left] Conair’s CV580 fighting the Kaleden fire. [bottom, right] Local 564 Business Manager hands member Marc Garcia a union relief fund check. 12 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER BRITISH COLUMBIA TEXAS BRITISH COLUMBIA FALL 2017 13

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