International Union of Operating Engineers

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International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)
FoundedDecember 7, 1896
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.
Key people
James T. Callahan, General President
AffiliationsAFL–CIO, CLC, NABTU

The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) is a trade union within the United States-based AFL–CIO representing primarily construction workers who work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics, surveyors, and stationary engineers (also called operating engineers or power engineers) who maintain heating and other systems in buildings and industrial complexes, in the United States and Canada.

Founded in 1896, it currently represents roughly 400,000 workers in approximately 123 local unions and operates nearly 100 apprenticeship programs.[2]


In the late 1800s, working conditions were harsh for construction and stationary workers. Low wages, no benefits and 60–90 hour workweeks were the norm. In 1896, 11 individuals met in Chicago and formed the National Union of Steam Engineers of America, the forerunner to the IUOE. One year later, the organization began to admit Canadian members and changed its name to the International Union of Steam Engineers. By 1912, the organization changed its name again to the International Union of Steam and Operating Engineers. In 1927, the union absorbed the International Brotherhood of Steam Shovel and Dredgemen.[3]

The union dropped the word "steam" in 1928 as both the technology and the scope of labor had moved beyond steam technology. During the era of the two world wars and beyond, IUOE members were a significant part of the defense effort, from the Navy Seabees, who created the bases, airfields and roads, to the federal Highway Trust program, which created thousands of jobs for operating engineers. They also were part of many other important construction projects, including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Chicago’s Sears Tower (renamed Willis Tower in 2009), Toronto’s CN Tower and Sky Dome (renamed Rogers Centre), New York’s Empire State Building and Holland Tunnel, the Statue of Liberty, Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge, the Alaskan pipeline, the Hoover Dam and countless others.[4]

Training facilities[edit]

IUOE locals and the IUOE national organization run training facilities throughout the country. The largest training facility, the International Training & Education Center (ITEC), is located in Crosby, Texas, and covers 265 acres. It was opened in July 2016.[5] The purpose of the ITEC is to provide hands-on training and education for union members in North America on new technologies and methodologies in construction such as excavation, drones, earthmoving, crane operation, mechanics, welding, and OSHA guidelines.[6]

Technology and equipment providers such as Tadano America, Link-Belt Cranes, Terex Cranes, Manitowoc Cranes, Liebherr, Morrow Equipment,[7] and Built Robotics[8] donate, fund, or partner with the Union in providing access to different types of technology. These include cranes, virtual simulators, drones, autonomous equipment, welding bays, and heavy equipment. Additional industry partners include Lincoln Electric, Genie, DeWalt, Proto, Mac Tools, Lenox, John Deere, Caterpillar, Komatsu, and Simformotion.[5]


On April 10, 2019, President Trump visited the IUOE Training and Education Center and issued two executive orders to change the process for how pipeline projects were approved, which aimed to simplify the process for oil and gas companies in the United States.[9]

Union Locals[edit]

Local 3[edit]

IUOE Local 3, based in Alameda, California, is the largest building and construction trades local in the U.S., with jurisdiction covering four states: California, Nevada, Hawaii and Utah. Most of Local 3's 42,600 members work as heavy equipment operators, and construction workers, but the local also represents public employees, such as maintenance workers and peace officers, Technical Engineers, Surveyors and Construction Inspectors as well as Building Inspectors. Local 3 is headed by Business Manager Dan Reding.[10]

Local 94 headquarters, New York

Local 4[edit]

IUOE Local 4, based in Medway, Massachusetts, has over 5,000 members in central and eastern Massachusetts (including Boston, Massachusetts), eastern New Hampshire, and Maine.[11]

Local 14[edit]

IUOE Local 14, based in Flushing, New York, represents approximately 1,600 members working in the five boroughs of New York City.[12]

Local 15[edit]

IUOE Local 15 (A-H), based in Long Island City, New York, represents about 5,000 operating engineers throughout the area of New York City - in tandem with IUOE Local 14.[13]

Local 17[edit]

IUOE Local 17, based in Lake View, New York, represents 2,000 members throughout Western New York.[14] Some of its membership derives from what was previously under the jurisdiction of IUOE Local 463, which was absorbed into Local 17 in May, 2019.[15] IUOE Local 17 is led by Business Manager, Gary Swain and President, William (Bill) Fekete.

Local 18[edit]

IUOE Local 18, based in Cleveland, Ohio, represents about 15,000 members throughout 85 of 88 counties in Ohio and four counties in northern Kentucky.[16]

Local 49[edit]

IUOE Local 49, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the largest construction union in Minnesota and represents over 14,000 members across a broad range of industries including: Road, Highway and Bridge Construction, Building Construction, Housing Developments, River Dredging and Port Work, Oil and Natural Gas Pipeline Construction and Maintenance, Fiber Optic Installation and Repair, Mining, Logging, Sand and Gravel Pits, Asphalt and Concrete Plants, Wind and Solar Construction and Maintenance, Coal, Nuclear, Natural Gas Power Plants, Drilling, Equipment Rental/Maintenance Shops, City/County/School District Construction and Maintenance, and Water and Waste Water Plants. Local 49 has jurisdiction over Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Local 49's Business Manager is Jason George.

The Local 49 Training Center located in Hinckley, Minnesota offers a comprehensive apprenticeship and educational program.

Local 49 has partnered with the Minnesota Virtual Academy to offer Operating Engineers pathway to high school students. Students participating in the pathway will take a series of classes that will prepare them to enter Local 49’s Operating Engineers Apprenticeship Program. Students will receive credit towards Local 49’s Apprenticeship Program based on courses completed.

Local 77[edit]

IUOE Local 77 covers Washington, D.C., seven counties in Northern Virginia and four counties in Maryland surrounding the District of Columbia.

Local 98[edit]

IUOE Local 98, based in Southwick, Massachusetts, represents approximately 1,300 members in Western Massachusetts, Western New Hampshire, and Vermont.[17]

Local 99[edit]

IUOE Local 99 is a Stationary Engineer union representing approximately 3,500 members in the DMV area, including Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and southern Maryland. Based in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Local 99 is under the leadership of Business Manager Donald Havard and President Frank Barile. The union offers a comprehensive 4-year apprenticeship program.[18]

Local 115[edit]

Local 115, based in Burnaby, British Columbia Canada, represents over 12,000 skilled workers in construction, road building, transportation, mining, aviation, and various industrial sectors throughout British Columbia and the Yukon. Local 115's Business Manager is Brian Cochrane and its President is Wayne Mills. Local 115 runs a Training Institute that is accredited with Private Career Training Institutions and delivers programs in accordance with British Columbia’s Industry Training Authority.

Temporary Foreign Worker legal challenge[edit]

In 2013, IUOE Local 115, along with the BC Building Trades Union, had tried to overturn permits given to a Murray River coal mine near Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia to hire 201 Chinese temporary workers to work on a new mine owned by Chinese nationals. The unions claimed that the job ads were written to exclude Canadian workers, and instead chose to hire Chinese workers for lower wages rather than source or train local miners from the immediate area or the province.

However, a federal court judge disagreed. Russell Zinn found that HD Mining, the owner of the coal mine, had fulfilled the requirements set out in a federally mandated Labour Market Opinion (LMO) and dismissed the unions’ challenge.[19] However, public and media attention on the case resulted in some changes being implemented into the Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program to ensure that foreign workers are not chosen over local resources, where available.[20]

Local 137[edit]

Local 137 represents the Operating Engineers in the counties of Westchester, Putnam, and parts of Southern Dutchess. The branch is headquartered in Briarcliff Manor, New York,[21] in a former dairy processing building for Briarcliff Farms.[22]

Members of this branch are currently working on the largest infrastructure project in New York and one of the largest in the nation, the New Tappan Zee Bridge.[23]

Local 139[edit]

Local 139, based in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, represents over 10,990 members in Wisconsin. They represent workers employed across over 2,450 contractors.

Local 148[edit]

Local 148, representing Stationary Engineers, is based in Saint Louis, Missouri. They represent over 2,000 members in power generation, facility maintenance and operation, public works, public and private water and wastewater utilities, universities and colleges, airports, petrochemical, and municipal employees. Local 148 was chartered in 1941. Throughout its history a number of smaller locals have merged into Local 148, most recently being the merger of Local 2 in 2007.

Local 150[edit]

Local 150, based in Countryside, Illinois, is the second-largest local in the International (23,000 + Members) with jurisdiction in parts of three states: Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. Local 150's President and Business Manager is James "Jim" Sweeney. Local 150 represents the most traditional Operating Engineers (Hoisting and Portable, Heavy-Highway, Building Trade, Quarry, Landfill, and Underground) employees in the International. Local 150 has an advanced Operating Engineers (Hoisting and Portable) apprenticeship program.[24]

Local 158[edit]

Local 158 possesses jurisdiction over forty two counties in New York - making it the largest New York IUOE Local by area. The local is new, by trades-union standards, having been formed in 2011 via a merger of three independent locals - Local 106 of Albany, New York, Local 545 of Syracuse, New York, and Local 832 of Rochester, New York.[25] Local 158, now comprising three united but semi-autonomous districts is led by Business Manager Jonathan Lanse, and based out of Glenmont, New York.[26]

Local 302[edit]

Local 302 represents 14,000 men and women within the states of Washington, Idaho, and Alaska. Daren Konopaski is the Business Manager and International Vice President.

Members consist of traditional Operating Engineers (heavy-highway and bridge, building trade, quarry, road, river dredging and port work, oil and natural gas pipeline construction and maintenance, sand and gravel pits, asphalt and concrete plants, wind and solar construction, and more) and Stationary Engineers (building and facility operation and services such as custodial, security, HVAC, boiler, chiller, lighting, plumbing, welding, etc.; public water and wastewater utilities, schools, airports, municipal employees, and more).

The 3 heavy equipment training centers, serving WA, ID, and AK offer apprenticeship programs, and journey-level skill improvement courses. There are also stationary engineer journeyman-level training classes and apprenticeship programs available.[27]

Local 399[edit]

Local 399, stationary engineers, is based in Chicago, Illinois also having jurisdiction in Northwest Indiana and Illinois. The Business Manager and President is Patrick J. Kelly, who is also the tenth international Vice President since 2021.

Local 379[edit]

On January 9, 1919, IUOE Local 379[28] participated in the 1919 New York City Harbor Strike, as one of six unions that made up the Marine Workers Affiliation of the Port of New York, shutting down the port for weeks.[28][29][30]

Local 501[edit]

Local 501 was formed in 1953 by the merger of several regional locals and has offices in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The Business Manager is Edward J. Curly. Members perform maintenance and repair of all HVAC equipment, boiler operation, lighting, plumbing, welding, painting, carpentry, or in general, all trade related maintenance and repair.[31]

Local 825[edit]

Local 825 covers New Jersey and the 'lower counties' (Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan & Delaware) of New York State. The Local 825 Business Manager is Greg Lalevee. The Local 825 training center is located adjacent to the NJ Turnpike.[32]

Local 877[edit]

Local 877 is a Stationary Engineer union representing approximately 1,400 members and covers Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, and Vermont. The Local 877 Business Manager is Mike Cannistraro. Members maintain, operate, and repair: HVAC equipment, boilers, power plants, lighting, plumbing, welding, painting, carpentry, renewables or in general, all trade related maintenance and repair. The Local 877 training center is located in Canton, MA.[33]


1896: Charles J. DeLong[34]
1897: Frank Bowker[34]
1898: Frank Pfohl[34]
1898: Samuel L. Bennett[34]
1899: Philip A. Peregrine[34]
1900: Frank B. Monaghan[34]
1901: George V. Lighthall[34]
1903: Patrick McMahon[34]
1904: John E. Bruner[34]
1905: Matthew Comerford[34]
1916: Milton Snellings[34]
1921: Arthur M. Huddell[34]
1931: John Possehl[34]
1940: William E. Maloney[34]
1958: Joseph J. Delaney[34]
1962: Hunter P. Wharton[34]
1976: J. C. Turner[34]
1985: Larry Dugan[34]
1990: Frank Hanley[34]
2005: Vincent Giblin[34]
2011: James Callahan[34]

Notable members[edit]


  1. ^ US Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. File number 000-159. (Search)
  2. ^ "About IUOE". IUOE. Retrieved 14 October 2022.
  3. ^ "Inactive Organizations" (PDF). UMD Labor Collections. University of Maryland. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  4. ^ Quinnell, Kenneth (September 9, 2019). "Get to Know AFL–CIO's Affiliates: Operating Engineers". AFL–CIO Blog. AFL–CIO. Retrieved 14 October 2022.
  5. ^ a b "IUOE Training Center". YouTube. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  6. ^ "International Training Registration System". IUOE. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  7. ^ Sundermeyer, Hannah (January 10, 2019). "IUOE's one stop shop for training". American Cranes & Transport. KHL Group Americas LLC. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  8. ^ Simonite, Tom (March 10, 2020). "Construction Workers Embrace the Robots That Do Their Jobs". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Trump Signs Executive Orders In Push To Make It Easier To Build Oil And Gas Pipelines". National Public Radio. 2019-04-11. Archived from the original on 2020-06-10. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  10. ^ "Business Manager Dan Reding" (PDF). Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  11. ^ "International Union of Operating Engineers Local 4". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  12. ^ "IUOE Local 14-14B's Home Page". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  13. ^ "About". Retrieved 2023-01-11.
  14. ^ "About Us – International Union of Operating Engineers – Local 17". Retrieved 2023-01-11.
  15. ^ "Operating Engineers Local 463, Niagara Falls, NY | Union Histories | Local Union History Book". Retrieved 2023-01-11.
  16. ^ "IUOE Local 18 History | About Ohio's Engineering Union". IUOE Local 18. Retrieved 12 October 2023.
  17. ^ "Home". IUOE Local 98. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  18. ^ "International Union of Operating Engineers". Retrieved 2023-06-08.
  19. ^ "B.C. mine's temporary foreign workers case desmissed". CBC News. 21 May 2013. Archived from the original on 13 February 2023. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  20. ^ "Federal Court dismisses union challenge against B.C. foreign workers". Maclean's. 21 May 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2022. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  21. ^ "Building Construction Agreement" (PDF). International Union of Operating Engineers. March 3, 2003 – March 5, 2006. Retrieved 12 February 2023.
  22. ^ Pattison, Robert (1939). A History of Briarcliff Manor. William Rayburn. p. 17. OCLC 39333547.
  23. ^ "International Union of Operating Engineers". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  24. ^ "ASIP: Local 150". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  25. ^ "IUOE Local 158". Retrieved 2023-04-05.
  26. ^ Dave. "About Us". IUOE Local 158. Retrieved 2023-04-05.
  27. ^ "IUOE Local 302". Retrieved 2023-12-15.
  28. ^ a b Squires, Benjamin M. (1919). "The Marine Workers Affiliation of the Port of New York". Journal of Political Economy. 27 (10): 840–874. ISSN 0022-3808.
  29. ^ "MORE FOR PORT WORKERS.; Arbitration Board, Unionists and Employers, Announces Agreement". The New York Times. 1919-06-17. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-05-22.
  30. ^ J. Davis, James; Ethelbert, Stewart (December 1921). National War Labor Board; A History of Its Formation and Activities, Together with Its Awards and the Documents of Importance in the Record of Its Development. 287. United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. pp. 126–132. ISBN 978-1314621402.
  31. ^ "About Us". IUOE LOCAL 501 - International Union of Operating Engineers. Archived from the original on 2018-10-16.
  32. ^ "IUOE Local 825 – International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  33. ^ "IUOE Local 877 – International Union of Operating Engineers Local 877". Retrieved 19 April 2023.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "International Union of Operating Engineers: 125 Years Strong" (PDF). IUOE Local 98. Retrieved 2 March 2023.

External links[edit]