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International Operating Engineer - Summer 2018

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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 Russell E. Burns, First Vice President James M. Sweeney, Second Vice President Robert T. Heenan, Third Vice President Daniel J. McGraw, Fourth Vice President Daren Konopaski, Fifth Vice President Michael Gallagher, Sixth Vice President Greg Lalevee, Seventh Vice President Terrance E. McGowan, Eighth Vice President Mark Maierle, Ninth Vice President Randy Griffin, Tenth Vice President Douglas W. Stockwell, Eleventh Vice President Ronald J. Sikorski, Twelfth Vice President James T. Kunz, Jr., Thirteenth Vice President Edward J. Curly, Fourteenth Vice President Got Big News ? from Your Local We want to hear about it. trustees Kuba J. Brown, Chairman Brian Cochrane, Trustee William Lynn, Trustee Joshua VanDyke, Trustee Barton Florence, 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 A WHIRLWIND OF spring activity for our union has eased into a steady and productive summer construction season. A few weeks after adjourning a very successful and energizing 39th General Convention, we welcomed hundreds of people to the new International Training & Conference Center for the official Grand Opening. Brothers and sisters from around the International joined busloads of contractors, industry leaders and equipment reps for a morning of presentations, facility tours and an oldfashioned Texas barbecue. Already, the Training Center is buzzing with activity, hosting an array of classes in various H&P, Stationary and Pipeline disciplines. New equipment keeps being added and course offerings are expanding. Members should look over the class schedules at www.iuoe.org/ training and consult with their local Training Directors to take advantage of this world-class facility. Our emphasis and expansion of training opportunities is coming at the perfect time for our union. Reports from around the International say that this will be one of the best years for Operating Engineer man-hours this decade and the federal government figures are backing that up. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the construction industry have come roaring back, adding about 2 million since 2010. This past June, the unemployment rate in construction fell to 4.7% from a high of 27.1% in the worst year of the recession. To be sure, these are good times for the Operating Engineers who build and maintain North America. Our skills are in high demand, but we still face serious threats to our lives and livelihoods. The enemies of unions and unionized workers are pushing even harder as some of their attacks on prevailing wages, collective bargaining and safety standards have found success recently. Politics has become a four-letter word in our hyper-partisan society today. Most folks are so sickened by all of the noise that they would rather just tune out and not talk about it. That is understandable, but dangerous. We ignore it at our own peril. This struggle has many fronts and we need to be engaged because we all have a stake in it. As we go to print, our brothers and sisters in Missouri are fighting to repeal a so-called “right-to-work” law pushed by corporate-financed, national antiunion lobby groups. Our in-state Locals have been heavily engaged, first in gathering the signatures to put the repeal on the ballot, and now knocking on doors and making phone calls to get every union member and every member of their family out to vote. It is hard, but necessary work if we are to be successful. I know our members there are fighting for every vote and leaving it all out on the field of battle. That level of activism is needed in many more states and provinces where we live, work and raise our families. Local, state and federal elections have a profound impact on our profession. In the United States, we have seen a systematic roll back of labor and workplace safety standards as the balance of power has shifted to more conservative, managementfriendly appointments at places like the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). The most glaring recent example was the Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME. The appointment of Justice Gorsuch after the last election tilted the court decidedly right and pro-business. Therefore, it was not surprising that the ruling favored the corporate “right-to-work” position, forcing unions who bargain for public employees to represent a worker at the bargaining table or in a grievance even [James T. Callahan] if that employee does not pay dues or agency fees. The creation of a class of free riders—those who benefit from union contracts, but who don’t contribute anything—is old-fashioned union busting. The only way to turn this around is to elect labor candidates and create pro-labor majorities in state legislatures and the Congress to enshrine workers’ rights into law. This takes time and commitment, but most of all it takes engagement by each one of us. Some will volunteer on a campaign and others may even run for office. But all of must participate in our democracy and vote. And when we do, we should prioritize our livelihoods and workplace safety above all else. It is our collective strength as one union, spanning two countries, that creates prosperity for all. Enjoy the summer. Work safe. 4 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER SUMMER 2018 5

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