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International Operating Engineer - Winter 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 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 Mark Maierle, Tenth Vice President Randy Griffin, Eleventh Vice President Douglas W. Stockwell, Twelfth Vice President Ronald J. Sikorski, Thirteenth Vice President James T. Kunz, Jr., Fourteenth Vice President Got Big News ? from Your Local We want to hear about it. trustees Kuba J. Brown, Chairman Joseph F. Shanahan, Trustee Edward J. Curly, Trustee Brian Cochrane, Trustee William Lynn, 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, or mail 1125 Seventeenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20036 From the General President DURING THE TWO WEEKS that the Olympic games were contested, millions caught a glimpse of some of the most talented athletes in the world. What they didn’t see is that they are also the best trained in their field. Just like the seemingly effortless pick by a crane operator or the smooth new road left in the wake of a road crew, most people don’t think about the hours spent perfecting those skills. Training is what makes IUOE equipment operators and stationary engineers the first choice among owners, contractors and building management companies. Right now, IUOE members are in demand like never before. Our pre-apprenticeship, joint apprenticeship, pipeline and stationary training programs are flooded with applications, steadily adding new equipment and expanding training opportunities. The amount of work and increasing demand for skilled Operating Engineers makes the Great Recession seem like a distant nightmare. But it wasn’t that long ago that we had over twenty-percent unemployment in construction. During those down years, we also endured a barrage of coordinated and well-funded attacks on labor unions. They blamed working people with collectively bargained contracts for our nation’s economic misery. They used their political muscle to pass ‘right to work’ laws and repealed prevailing wage protections at every opportunity. They divided working people. Now that we are in the midst of an economic and building boom cycle, these same opponents say things like “skills gap” and “worker shortage” to further their anti-union agenda. They have also called for expanding temporary foreign worker visas to fill the so-called gaps. And they continue to divide working people. They are scam artists and can’t have it both ways. They can’t cut wage standards and then yell “worker shortage.” They can’t call for more apprenticeships, while defunding programs that would expand them. And they can’t revoke legal work status for immigrants who have acquired skills and hold union cards here, so they can replace them with temporary workers with no rights at lower rates. We must not let them divide us anymore. The fight back has begun where it should, at the grassroots. In state and local elections and at county council meetings and legislative committee hearings, working people, including many IUOE members, are stepping up. Working-class candidate and proud Local 68 member Dahlia Vertreese was recently elected Mayor of Hillside, New Jersey. The Sussex County Council in Delaware listened to the organized opposition of their union constituents and voted down a ‘right to work’ ordinance. And Locals 101, 148 and 513 helped lead a successful statewide petition drive in Missouri to put a repeal of ‘right to work’ on the ballot later this year. I applaud those who have decided to take a stand and fight back in the political arena. We need more folks like these. A simple check-in with your Local at a membership meeting or through a phone call or e-mail will get you plugged into the efforts in your community. In addition, we should continue to showcase what we do and how great we do it. I have been fortunate to travel throughout the International, visiting Locals and seeing first-hand the value we bring through our training programs. Many locals already hold annual or semi-annual open houses to allow public officials, industry representatives, and thousands of [James T. Callahan] young people to see us in action. Others go out to recruit at job fairs and career days. These events engage our local communities and put a positive face on our members, our union and our movement. The surge of new Operating Engineers entering the trade and moving through our various training programs is coming at an important time. We are not only building the next generation of Operating Engineers, but we have a chance to build another generation of union activists. I know many members share their experience and expertise with these mostly young men and women. Take a minute to share some union wisdom too. The systematic weakening of our collective bargaining rights and prevailing wage standards is a serious threat. We won’t reverse the damage in one election or one legislative session. But little by little, we can stop this race to the bottom. Thank you for the work you do each and every day. Thank you for taking the time to mentor a new member. Thank you for stepping up in your community to serve. We have an opportunity to make positive change this year. Working together, I know we will. Work safe. 4 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER WINTER 2018 5

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