Category Archives: union

Union Proud

The founders of the International Union of Operating Engineers realized that In Unity There Is Strength. Unionized workers pledge to work together: maintaining and improving their wages, benefits, and working conditions through collective bargaining. Business owners have always banded together, through organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and various lobbying groups – the way to balance their collective power is for employees to use that same strategy.

Only through unity can a trade union successfully fulfill its purpose and provide all workers the dignity, security and respect they deserve. Our mission, as stated in IUOE Local 49′s Constitution is, “to organize all persons working in the jurisdiction of this International Union without regard to race, creed, color, sex, religion, age, or national origin.”

Local 49 of the International Union of Operating Engineers represents more than 13,000 men and women in Minnesota, North and South Dakota with contracts for highway/heavy and building contractors, well drillers, equipment repair shops, welding shops, sand and gravel suppliers, counties, municipalities, hospitals, school districts, cemeteries, and more.

49 LOGO dial stripped 100x100 white on clearLABOR UNIONS BUILT THE U.S. MIDDLE CLASS.

Trade Unions, such as Operating Engineers Local 49, exist because workers want a fair share of the wealth their labor produces. We are not organized to be a social club or to build the prestige of individuals: Our sole purpose is to advance the welfare of workers and working families. We believe union apprenticeships are one of the keys to building a workforce that begins contributing productively from day one, while earning fair compensation including benefits and a pension that starts building while many college students are building debt that will hang over them for years. Why pay for college when you can earn while you learn as an apprentice Operator, taking advantage of our year-round Training Center at no cost to our members?

Right to Work? Yeah, right.

Pull the other one – it’s got bells on!

Nobody is ever forced to pay union dues, even if they work at a mostly-union job. But the spin from big-money corporations makes it sounds like union organizers are thugs, not the heroes that built our middle-class.

AFL-CIONobody’s union dues ever go to political campaigns, either – all that spending is strictly regulated by federal law already: any union spending on political causes or campaigns comes from strictly voluntary contributions, totally separate from union members dues. The national Chamber of Commerce has decided that only businesses should be able to bargain collectively – not regular workers – so they lobbied politicians to take that right away from us.

So why the big push by lobbyists and big corporations? Because they want to keep more money for the CEOs, plain and simple.  Bigger bonuses, bigger paychecks, and more spending on their lobbying, which can only mean less for the actual, productive workers who provide the goods and services these fat cats are relying on for their perks, benefits, bonuses, huge pensions, and salaries. You can bet they’re motivated by money, not concern for your paycheck or pension.

How fair is that?

Sure, the name sounds great – but since we all already have a “right” to work, when you think about it you’ll realize that name was carefully chosen to obscure the real agenda by keeping us from thinking hard about what’s actually in the bill.

Workers in and out of unions must fight back against the negative stories the national news media is parroting from talking points only vaguely connected to reality. The AFL-CIO is spear-heading an overdue pushback about how critical the middle-class wages and benefits are to our future and our economy by establishing a Message Movers team–folks who are willing to talk back when they hear biased stories about unions and big business by politicians or through social media and email. Read the rest of this entry

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

Scenes from MN State Capitol

Rally for jobs at State Capitol in St. Paul, MN as legislature resumes meeting in session May 3rd.

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Packer’s Woodson Defends Unions & Membership

That pretty much sums it up:
Charles Woodson of the Green Bay Packers on Unions.

At a breakfast sponsored by Politico in Washington, DC, Green Bay Packers’ star Charles Woodson defends Wisconsin workers’ freedoms and rights: “Wisconsin workers and workers in general should have the right to be a union and they should have a right to fight for whatever rights they believe in. We talk about having freedoms in this country. They should have the freedom to fight for their rights!”
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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Arizona’s SB1070 Two-Year Anniversary

AFL-CIO President Trumka Two years ago this week, Arizona’s Governor Brewer signed into law SB1070, an anti-immigrant law that has, unfortunately, served as a model for legislation passed by several other state legislatures. The results have been shattering – these laws are tearing families apart and destroying the hopes and dreams of children and making it hard for workers to exercise their most fundamental rights. These laws have legalized discrimination, encouraged racial profiling, and sanctioned egregious violations of civil and human rights, and labor laws. Read the rest of this entry

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