7 years ago

International Operating Engineer - Spring 2016

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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

International Operating Engineer (ISSN 0020-8159) is published by the: International Union of Operating Engineers, AFL-CIO 1125 17 th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 Subscription Terms - per year Change of Address - Requests must be submitted in writing to the IUOE Membership Department (address above). Include your new address, registration and local union number. POSTMASTERS – ATTENTION: Change of address on Form 3579 should be sent to: International Operating Engineer Mailing List Dept. 1125 17th St., NW, 3rd Floor Washington, DC 20036 Publications Mail Agreement No. 40843045 Canada Post: Return undeliverables to P.O. Box 2601, 6915 ​Dixie Rd, Mississauga, ON L4T 0A9 Printed in the U.S.A. International Union of Operating Engineers AFL-CIO general officers James T. Callahan, General President Brian E. Hickey, General Secretary-Treasurer Jerry Kalmar, First Vice President Russell E. Burns, Second Vice President James M. Sweeney, Third Vice President Robert T. Heenan, Fourth Vice President Daniel J. McGraw, Fifth Vice President Daren Konopaski, Sixth Vice President Michael Gallagher, Seventh Vice President Greg Lalevee, Eighth Vice President Terrance E. McGowan, Ninth Vice President Louis G. Rasetta, Tenth Vice President Mark Maierle, Eleventh Vice President Randy Griffin, Twelfth Vice President Douglas W. Stockwell, Thirteenth Vice President Ronald J. Sikorski, Fourteenth Vice President Got Big News ? from Your Local We want to hear about it. trustees Kuba J. Brown, Chairman Bruce Moffatt, Trustee James T. Kunz, Jr., Trustee Joseph F. Shanahan, Trustee Edward J. Curly, Trustee International Operating Engineer appreciates the stories and photos we receive from local affiliates throughout North America. Send us your submissions or ideas for stories you would like us to consider. Send your submissions, plus photos (digital images are preferred), to Jay Lederer at jlederer@iuoe.org, or mail 1125 Seventeenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20036 From the General President Making the Most of Opportunity Meeting a challenge head-on is how we operate We have a big year ahead us. The construction season has begun, the economy is coming around, more money is being invested and more work hours for IUOE members as a result. We have a great opportunity to increase our market share and grow our ranks through organizing. And, there’s that small matter of electing a new President. Like any year, we will have opportunities and challenges. It has been a very challenging time politically, with attacks across the country by right-wing groups attempting to diminish our voice and roll back our basic legal protections. But it’s not all bad news; in fact we have had some solid victories along the way. The federal highway bill that passed at the very end of last year was a huge victory for Operating Engineers. The bill – Fixing America’s Surface Transportation or FAST Act – is a fully funded, 5 billion dollar program over the next five years and the largest piece of job creating legislation coming out of the federal government. The legislation includes billion dollars in new revenue for the Highway Trust Fund and in the first year both the Highway Program and the Transit Program have significant increases. The following four years grow at slower rates, but the program is on solid footing. All major funding provisions require the payment of Davis-Bacon prevailing wages to Operating Engineers. On healthcare, we won a two-year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac Tax” on high cost health insurance plans. The tax would have ensnared a number of IUOE plans and would grab more health and welfare plans over time. The postponement until 2020 now leaves the issue in the hands of the next administration and Hillary Clinton has said publicly and told us privately, that she favors a full repeal of the tax. But most of the action has been in state capitals and while we can claim credit in a number of states, these have been defensive victories. We fought off some of the worst attacks, but still had some setbacks. On Right-to-work, our locals in Missouri and New Mexico played key leadership roles in fighting off this extreme anti-union legislation. And in Kentucky, Operating Engineers made sure that the state legislature held onto a pro-union majority, heading off antiworker bills there. In Michigan, Operating Engineers led the building trades’ effort to challenge petition signatures circulated by the Associated Builders and Contractors to repeal the state prevailing wage law. They were able to disqualify tens of thousands of signatures and stop the effort. Unfortunately, we did experience a setback earlier this year in West Virginia as right-wing Republicans in that state reversed generations of prolabor solidarity by passing a Rightto-work law and repealing prevailing wage. However, we are already fighting back there. Angered by their legislators’ retreat from labor-friendly positions, eight West Virginia IUOE members have declared their candidacies for legislative office. In addition, all legal avenues are being explored and lawsuits have been filed by labor groups to overturn Right-to-work. I can only touch on a few of the fights that IUOE locals have had to wage, expending valuable time and resources fighting back against the right-wing Republican agenda. The list is a lot longer and the attacks keep coming. What we can clearly see however, is [James T. Callahan] that political engagement at every level is a necessity if we are to maintain our collective bargaining rights, wages, benefits and pensions into the future. This year we have another big election to win. The race for President, and the policies the two candidates promote, will have a ripple effect on all the local, state and Congressional elections being contested in November. The presumed nominees, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, both claim to be on the side of working men and women. But only Clinton has a record of working with unions to create jobs. Trump has fought unions and denied workers a voice at the bargaining table. I urge everyone to look closely at their records and not just their rhetoric or showmanship. A great place to start is www.engineersaction.org Volunteering some time to work on local campaigns can make a real difference for your family and your fellow Operating Engineers. Who knows? It might even be fun. I hope everyone will take some time to do so this year. As we go to press, we are closely watching the developments of a massive wildfire in and around Fort McMurray, Alberta. Many Operating Engineers living and working there have been affected. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Work safe. 4 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER SPRING 2016 5

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