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International Operating Engineer - Fall 2019

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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

From the General

From the General President James T. Callahan IT SEEMS LIKE people have been talking about 2020 for about a year already. But before we close the books on 2019, let’s take stock. Operating Engineers throughout North America had a very productive year. We continued to grow membership and gain market share. Our organizing campaigns and political activities were very successful. Most importantly, we continued to expand our training programs and set the standard for others to follow in the Hoisting & Portable, Pipeline and Stationary Engineering industries. Local 399 in Chicago opened a new, state-of-the-art Technology Center that will offer more opportunities for members to upgrade skills and attain certifications. By simulating real-world conditions in the safety and comfort of modern classrooms and labs, members will continue to have the best training available. In Texas, new equipment and classes continued to be added at the International Training & Education Center (ITEC). Over the summer, several new cranes were installed and more pads constructed. The Center now has six tower cranes available for training along with a new Tower Crane curriculum, which is under development. So far, there are over 100 construction classes scheduled for 2020, with more to come throughout the year. Altogether, there have been over 90,000 training hours reported at ITEC this year. The 2019-2020 Pipeline Training Program is already underway, offering 175 classes during the training season. Course descriptions and dates for all classes offered at ITEC are found at www.iuoe-itrs.org Members should check the class schedule regularly for updates. In October, Canadians went to the polls to elect their next federal government. Despite a loss of 20 seats, including two high-profile Cabinet ministers, the Liberal Party was able to retain power as a minority government. During the election, the IUOE remained non-partisan and did not endorse any leader, any party or any candidates. However, we are confident that Liberal Party control will continue to safeguard workers’ rights and open up opportunities to expand employment for Operating Engineers through increased federal investments on large-scale transportation and energy infrastructure projects. In the United States, there were only a few high-profile state elections this year. The races for Governor in Kentucky and Louisiana were both won by IUOE endorsed candidates. The election in Kentucky was notable due to the fact that the incumbent had pushed through so-called “rightto-work” laws and repealed the state’s prevailing wage early in his term. Local 181 is looking forward to working with Governor-elect Andy Beshear to restore worker rights and the prevailing wage as soon as possible. Historic elections in Virginia saw the Democratic Party take full control of state government for the first time in a generation. Many of the candidates elected to the General Assembly pledged to repeal the state’s “right-towork” law, which has been on the books since the Truman Administration. We will have to wait and see, but there have been several encouraging trends pushing back against anti-worker laws and we will continue the fight into 2020 and beyond. Lastly, I would like to bring to your attention an event that occurred this past summer. On or around August 20, a ransomware bad actor hacked into and corrupted the computer systems at IUOE headquarters in Washington, DC. Our Information Technology Department took action immediately to shut down any active communication with our Locals to ensure that any corruption was contained within Headquarters and did not subject any of our Locals to undue cyber harm. These efforts were successful and no Locals suffered any damage. Furthermore, I can report that your vital membership information was not affected nor lost. The International office and staff were without email service for two weeks and we had a temporary disruption to our phone system, which was tied to our email servers. After many days spent restoring our systems from offsite servers, we set about replacing and shoring up many of the vulnerabilities left from outdated software. Lessons learned, we have now adopted a cloud-based system that brings an extra layer of security to protect all of your important personal data. As General President, I take protection of the personal information that you have entrusted to me very seriously. We will spare no expense to ensure its security. I apologize if this technology intrusion caused disruption or delay in service to any member. This past year, like so many, had its highs and lows, but our union marches forward with unity and strength. We are ready for the challenges and opportunities that await us in the new year. Together, we will continue to achieve great things. I hope every member enjoys a relaxing holiday season filled with family and friends. See you next year. Work safe. 4 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER FALL 2019 5

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