Category Archives: U.S. Congress

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:
Not Voting

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

MN Congressman Ellison introduces Financial Transaction Tax bill to U.S. House

MN Rep Keith Ellison introduces Robin Hood TaxMinnesota Rep. Keith Ellison introduced a bill in Congress this week that would restore a tiny tax on Wall Street trades – a “Financial Transaction Tax” or FTT also called the Robin Hood tax in some circles, including by the Nurse’s union that has been pushing on behalf of the middle class.

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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

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.

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Beyond Outrage at Politicians: No More “Politics As Usual”

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich sees a problem.

And he’s right when he says that our economy has been rigged against average working people. The media gets more from their advertisers when they talk about who’s up or down, who’s winning or losing; their income benefits from focusing on the controversial, provocative moments that they use to define campaigns and politicians – but that isn’t the same as providing fair, balanced, accurate, complete information to us.

Elections are about winning. They don’t test the skills and aptitude needed to govern effectively, but rather the skills to manage and control what the media says, because that’s all most voters have to go on when making their choices. Read the rest of this entry

Restoring skilled manufacturing is restoring our economy

All American workers need is genuine opportunityIUOE Local 49 brass logo alternativeUnited States flag

Despite Clint Eastwood’s Super Bowl commercial, the resulting posturing from GOP insiders such as Karl Rove points out that the President will have a tough time getting political opponents to buy into anything he suggests before the November elections. Rove is upset that an actor played a role? The message about it being half-time was too inspirational for a former GOP mayor to deliver?

With about 9% of all U.S. jobs currently in manufacturing, 35% of all engineers work in manufacturing. In other words, “manufacturing firms are tightly linked to innovation in the U.S. service sector.” Getting back to high-skilled manufacturing with good paying jobs means we’ll also be supporting the engineers. That’s real value for the economy now and into the future, yet real job growth in manufacturing is hostage to political rhetoric that lately places party power above all else.

But there’s still more reason to push for recovering our manufacturing sector:

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Rep. John Kline (MN-2) not interested in job creation

John Kline, job killerKline flatly opposed creating jobs by repairing dangerous bridges and infrastructure

When asked by a constituent about a jobs bill during a Town Hall meeting on Monday, January 30, 2012 in Shakopee, MN, U.S. House Education & Workforce Committee Chair John Kline said he s didn’t agree with the President about jobs bills.

Rod Hunter of Red Wing, Minnesota, drew applause from much of the audience when he asked Kline to support an extension of unemployment insurance and support a jobs bill to get people back to work. “With millions of people unemployed still and their benefits going to run out at the end of February will you be in favor of extending them unemployment benefits for the rest of the year with no strings attached? Will you going to support a jobs bill to help people get back [to work]? Our infrastructure’s decapitated and with our highways and bridges there is a lot of work to be done.”

Representative Kline flatly opposed creating jobs by repairing dangerous bridges and infrastructure, preferring partisan posturing during an election year over the sort of leadership he could be showing in DC on behalf of his constituents, having attained influential position as a Committee Chair in the 2010 elections. Read the rest of this entry


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