Category Archives: Jobs

Keystone Senate Vote March 22nd, 2013

Friday night there was an important vote in the US Senate on the Keystone Pipeline. The pro-Keystone amendment would not have changed the process at all, it was simply an opportunity for Senators to get on the record either supporting or opposing the Keystone Pipeline. Local 49 spoke to representatives from both MN Senator Klobuchar and Franken’s offices and asked them to support this pro-Keystone amendment. While both MN Senators are with us on most issues, they were not with us on this one. It is important that members know when our friends stand with us, and when they don’t. And in this case, Senator Franken and Senator Klobuchar voted against our jobs.

Local 49 will continue to provide you with unbiased, member driven information on the critical issues related to job creation. We will not spin for politicians; we will always tell you the truth. And the truth is: on this vote covering the Keystone XL pipeline some of our friends didn’t stand with us.

On a positive note: The entire Senate delegation from the Dakotas voted YES in support of Keystone. We thank Senator Heitkamp (D-ND), Senator Hoeven (R-ND), Senator Johnson (D-SD), and Senator Thune (R-SD) for their support of good paying union pipeline jobs.

The intent of the amendment was to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth in United States manufacturing, oil and gas production, and refining sectors through the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Vote Counts:
YEAs
62
NAYs
37
Not Voting
1

Grouped By Vote Position, ordered alphabetically:  Read the rest of this entry

49er Mike Gray: A jack-of-all-trades

49er Mike Gray at Resurrection Cemetery

Brother Mike Gray of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 does a lot of everything at Resurrection Cemetery. Or as he puts it, “I’m a jack-of-all-trades here.”

A member of the staff of The Catholic Cemeteries since 2005, Gray oversees the seasonal field staff in the maintenance of cemetery grounds and assorted field duties. He’s a skilled mechanic who keeps the cemetery equipment serviced and operational. And of course, he handles the opening and closing of graves.

While his day-to-day work is largely physical, Gray sees it as much more.

“When I started this job I began meeting the people we serve and it became clear that this is a ministry,” Gray said.  “We are here with people at times of great sorrow and sadness, and I realized the importance of our presence.”

The preparation of a grave for burial — locating the site, digging the space, putting up the tent, and related tasks — is sacred work, Gray says.

“I think of each burial as if it were for my mother or father, because I know the person to be buried is loved by many. This is a very fulfilling job.”

Whether standing by at the burial services or doing dauily fieldwork, Gray has come to know many families at Resurrection.

Gray’s spare time is filled with family, faith, and powerlifting – he can bench-press more than 400 pounds!

Several years ago, after his pastor was diagnosed with cancer, Gray helped start a competitive powerlifting benefit, called Relentless, which drew weightlifters from all across the country.  The event was such a success that it is now held annually and supports HopeKids, which offers support to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

“Mike gives a lot of himself to his job and his community. He is a real asset to our team at Resurrection,” said John Cherek, Director of The Catholic Cemeteries.

Operating Engineers Local 49 Endorses Republican incumbent Congressman Cravaack in Minnesota’s 8th District

IUOE Local 49 logoInternational Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 49 Announces Endorsement in MN 8th Congressional District

Earlier this week members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 gathered in Duluth to screen candidates for Congress in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.  This screening was open to all Local 49 members that lived in the 8th District, and was widely advertised on our website and distributed via email.  Members came from across the 8th District to participate.

After hearing from all 3 candidates running in the Democratic Primary, and Congressman Cravaack, we had what turned out to be a very difficult conversation about who we should stand with in this election.  The conversation centered around jobs, our union, and the ability of our members to earn a good living.  These are the core issues that bind us together as a group, and we decided that this should drive our endorsement.

The members held a secret ballot vote the night of screening Read the rest of this entry

Press Release – Local 49 announces first round of 2012 endorsements for MN Legislative elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Operating Engineers Local 49 logoThe International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 49, made up of 13,000 heavy equipment operators working in MN, ND, and SD, wishes to announce our first round of Minnesota State Legislative endorsements for 2012. Our union has three core issues that drive our political activity:

  • Infrastructure and construction job creation
  • Protection of our right to have a strong and healthy union
  • Protection of construction industry standards on safety, wages, health care, and pensions

Our political philosophy is simple:
We will support any candidate, from any party, that is willing to stand with construction workers on the above three (3) core principals.

The bi-partisan nature of the list of current office-holders and candidates that make up our first round of 2012 endorsements demonstrates our commitment to our political philosophy. Read the rest of this entry

Will Congress continue to hold its breath or will they encourage job creation?

United States flagIt’s crunch time for Congress: They can continue to try to make the President look bad by stalling, or they can get to work before the crisis in Europe drags our economy back in the wrong direction.  It’s time to pass a transportation bill and clean energy measures to encourage job creation now.

Read the rest of this entry

Rams issues w/ Edward Jones Dome put Vikings Stadium deal in good light

Rams & officials “far apart” on $700 million renovation.

Among issues: Retractable Roof

The Saint Louis Rams want a retractable roof added to the renovations proposed to 17-year old Edward Jones Dome. Monday the price tag for the Rams wish list of improvements and upgrades came in at $700 million – much higher than the St Louis Convention and Visitors Commission projection of around $125 million, and close to the price-tag for an entirely new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings (assuming the Minneapolis City Council gives the deal a stamp of approval.)

But once you factor in the projected revenue losses of an additional $500 million which Jeff Rainford, St. Louis Mayor Slay’s chief of staff, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch results from taking the stadium out of play for convention business while the upgrades are being made, the Minnesota stadium deal starts to look very shrewd indeed Read the rest of this entry

How the MN Senate voted on Vikings Stadium Tuesday

MN State CapitolMN Senate, on a 38-28 vote, approved a measure to finance a new Vikings stadium. It moves to conference committee due to radical differences in comparison to the bill the MN House passed. Here’s how it broke down – with more Democrats than Republicans supporting the bill as it stood at the time of the roll call:  Read the rest of this entry

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.