Blog Archives

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

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

President Obama’s Directive to Expedite Portion of Keystone XL Pipeline

International Union of Operating Engineers

For Immediate Release
March 22, 2012 

 Contact:   Jay Lederer (202) 778-2626 

Statement by
International Union of Operating Engineers General President James T. Callahan

President Obama’s Directive to Expedite Portion of
Keystone XL Pipeline

President Obama’s announcement today that he will expedite approval for a portion of the Keystone XL pipeline is an important, albeit long overdue step towards upgrading our country’s pipeline infrastructure.  In addition, it will create the kind of high-paying, skilled jobs that are so vital to our economy.  The Operating Engineers are hopeful that today’s action by President Obama will quickly translate into real work Read the rest of this entry

HELP WANTED: Director of Apprenticeship & Training

Local 49 Training Center for Operating Engineers and Apprentices

IUOE Local 49; Operating Engineers pulling our weight in MN, ND, and SD.The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 and Associated General Contractors of Minnesota Apprenticeship and Training Fund of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, (“Training Fund”) seek resumes and applications for its Apprenticeship Program located in Hinckley, Minnesota for the position of:



The Director of Apprenticeship manages all aspects of the Apprenticeship Program in accordance with the policies established by the Board of Trustees. The Program includes a State of Minnesota approved apprenticeship program and a State of North and South Dakota approved apprenticeship program. Read the rest of this entry

We don’t need unions? Do we need the Constitution?

Unions are no longer important?

That’s what some say, that unions were important back in the day, but they’ve out-lived their purpose. They won us reasonable work shifts, overtime pay, maternity and family leaves, sick pay, holidays, and other great stuff — but now that that’s all done we don’t really worry about losing any of that, right?

Did anybody ever make that argument when it comes to the U.S. Constitution, or the systems established by our Founding Fathers?  The Bill of Rights was a great thing, but we don’t need Congress anymore, our laws are all fine now, we can pretty much rely on momentum to keep everything on course.  After all, what could happen?

According to ABC News, Amy Zvovushe, a senior program manager with a marketing company in Connecticut, alleges the Human Resource department asked her to resign rather than providing leave after learning she was pregnant; that’s a form of discrimination that advocates say many women in the progressive, pro-family United States still face, an HR department intent on something other than helping the human resources a company has today.
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Labor in the 21st Century


Challenges face the labor movement when the GOP seems bent on destroying unions yet the Democratic Party, Labor’s most natural ally on economic and jobs issues, sometimes seems an increasingly uncertain friend.  Follow that “reblog’ link to check out the video a conversation with Professor Jason Johnson, GOP strategist J.P. Friere, and Chris Townsend, the Political Action Director for the United Electrical Workers.

Originally posted on Talking Union:

Chris Townsned, Political Action Director for the United Electrical Workers Union (UE), appeared on the February 17 “Inside Job.” Townsend not only did a great job defending unions, but had some very interesting things to say about the dilemma facing the labor movement when one party seems bent on destroying union and the other is often an uncertain and wavering ally.

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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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