The mission of the staff at Local 49's Training Center in Hinckley, MN, is to empower our members through training and education—with the knowledge and technical expertise to perform as leaders in their given craft.
During the course of the training season, approximately 4,000-5,000 members pass through our doors. The construction training season peaks from December through May. During this time the emphasis is on classes geared to equipment operators, but "Day Training" and sessions geared to public sector employees happens all year 'round.
Be sure to visit the Health Fund's website to review all the programs that are available to you and your family as eligible participants in the Local 49 Health Plan.
49er Political Action
Sometimes it seems as though unions are under siege, but our Political & Legislative Director is out front on the issues that require us to take action, and we've been effectively communicating with legislators to educate and persuade them.
49ers are more than just engaged voters; we're informed, active members of our communities with real interest in, and concern for, the issues that impact jobs, worker safety, and fair treatment on the job.
A note from
2013 started slow for the construction season and then it took off. Projects all over local 49’s jurisdiction in roads, bridges, building, pipeline and water put the members to work. We signed many new agreements with contractors in all areas and started organizing in the surveying sector, signed a company to state wide agreements and will continue to pursue this sector.
With 2 sports stadiums in Minnesota, refineries in North Dakota, power generation in South Dakota along with major renovation projects in the heavy industrial sites that will continue through the winter, demand will keep many 49ers working. It is good to see full employment in our jurisdiction again.
Several major bridge projects between Minnesota and Wisconsin will continue for several years and the mining/steel projects in Northern Minnesota continue to progress. For the first time in several years the outlook for long-term projects is picking up.
The need for many billions of dollars in the transportation rebuild and maintenance of our infrastructure is going to be a topic you will hear about this winter, and finding a way to pay for this is at the top of our list. Several studies on how much we need in the next 5 years show the estimates around 6 to 7 BILLION dollars just for Minnesota. The lack of investment in prior years created a crumbling effect and will continue to deteriorate at a faster rate because of the lack of proper maintenance. So the big question is, “Where do we get the money?”
Many ideas are out there like gas tax, millage tax, excise tax, bonding (which is maxed out) and several other options. The Federal Transportation funding states receive has been going down and the cost of construction is going up. The answer is in the wind and will be a topic that will not go away.
Every day we hear about the jobs that are not filled due to the lack of people trained to do those jobs, this is a fundamental problem created by the industries, they did not want to pay for workers to learn on the job. Apprenticeship has been around a long time and has worked well all over the world to train workers. You as members of local 49 created a program many years ago that continues today to train, upgrade and bring new people into our environment. Your apprentice and training program provides you with the tools to be prepared to take that next job, take advantage of it.
We will start the Health fund educational meetings soon, you've probably already gotten the schedule in your mail -- take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade your knowledge of your health plan.
Safety is and should be on your mind at all times, Local 49 lost 4 members this construction season and our condolences go to the families of our lost brothers and sisters.
Happy Holidays to every member and remember, “PULLING OUR WEIGHT” is what we are all about.
Attend your union meetings and be informed.
Business Manager, Local 49
International Union of Operating Engineers