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International Operating Engineer - Summer 2018

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  • Iuoe
  • Operating
  • Engineer
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  • Dozer
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  • Engineers
The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers

Politics & Legislation

Politics & Legislation Water Infrastructure Bill Likely to Pass Congress, Create Jobs Construction Employment Reaches 10-Year High in June THE U.S. SENATE is poised to consider America’s Water Infrastructure Act, S. 2800, legislation that guides policy for the nation’s ports and waterways, as well as flood prevention and conservation projects. The legislation passed out of the Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously, demonstrating that, at least on infrastructure, bipartisanship still exists in Congress. General President Callahan called for swift passage of the legislation, saying, “Senators should pass this legislation right away and begin negotiations with House leaders to send it to the President’s desk.” The House passed its version of the water resources legislation in June on an overwhelming vote, 408- 2. House and Senate leaders will have to reconcile differences between their bills in a “conference committee.” This legislation appears to be the only major infrastructure legislation likely to pass in the 115th Congress, leaving the President’s signature commitment to begin rebuilding America unfulfilled. The senate bill incorporates a separate piece of legislation related to drinking water and wastewater that has also been endorsed by the IUOE. The Securing Required Funding for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF-WIN) Act extends low-interest loans to public water providers to finance their infrastructure. It also requires the payment of prevailing wages to IUOE members and other construction workers, and it requires that all the manufactured components be made in the U.S.A. under Buy American requirements. The IUOE worked with Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) to sponsor the bill, and major industry groups in the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) to develop and advocate for it. The legislation will finance billions in water infrastructure and create thousands of good-paying jobs subject to Davis- Bacon wage requirements. Senator Boozman said, “This legislation is an innovative approach to helping communities of all sizes, in every state secure loans so they can improve their crumbling infrastructure.” The IUOE agrees, and appreciate the bipartisan leadership of Senators Boozman and Booker. THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY is bouncing back. In the dark days of the recession the unemployment rate was at 27.1 percent and this past June that rate was at 4.7 percent, making this past May and June unemployment numbers the lowest levels in over a decade. Likewise, the number of individuals employed in the construction industry is close to what is was ten years ago. This is great news considering that back in January 2010 only 5.4 million people were employed in the industry and in June 2018 we have almost 2 million more people working in the industry compared to January 2010. Employment in the Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction Industry is also going strong. Last July employment hit an all-time high with 145,300 folks working in the industry. Employment is close to where it was last year, and it could meet or exceed last year’s historic high in the July data. After hitting a low of only 88,900 workers employed in the industry back in May 2010, the industry is healthy and there are plenty of job opportunities for skilled hands. ENGINEERS ACTION & RESPONSE NETWORK REGISTER TODAY! WWW.IUOE.ORG 30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 10.5% Feb 2007 160.0 150.0 140.0 130.0 120.0 110.0 100.0 11.4% Feb 2008 Construction Unemployment Rates 21.4% Feb 2009 27.1% Feb 2010 21.8% Feb 2011 17.1% Feb 2012 15.7% Feb 2013 12.8% Feb 2014 10.6% Feb 2015 8.7% Feb 2016 4.7% June 2018 Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Jan-07 Apr… Jul-07 Oct-07 Jan-08 Apr… Jul-08 Oct-08 Jan-09 Apr… Jul-09 Oct-09 Jan-10 Apr… Jul-10 Oct-10 Jan-11 Apr… Jul-11 Oct-11 Jan-12 Apr… Jul-12 Oct-12 Jan-13 Apr… Jul-13 Oct-13 Jan-14 Apr… Jul-14 Oct-14 Jan-15 Apr… Jul-15 Oct-15 Jan-16 Apr… Jul-16 Oct-16 Jan-17 Apr… Jul-17 Oct-17 Jan-18 Apr… 90.0 80.0 108.3 December 2007 Oil and Gas Pipeline Construction Employment 88.9 May 2010 +35.2 143.5 May 2018 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Senator John Boozman (R-AR) Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) 8 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER SUMMER 2018 9

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