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, which peaks from December through May, is now underway. [see pictures] 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.
January 2015: Enbridge Sandpiper Pipeline Public Hearings
The Public Utilities Commission, the government agency that regulates pipelines in Minnesota, is hosting public meetings on the proposed Sandpiper Pipeline. This pipeline will create thousands of union construction jobs in Minnesota, will provide millions of dollars in property tax revenue for greater Minnesota, and will move us closer to energy independence.
Schedules for IUOE Local 49's annual Health Fund information meetings for plan participants is available at the two following links:
Information for participants that are Eligible on the plan, Early Retirees and their spouses:
Information for those on Medicare and their spouses:
Winter came early this year and caught us off guard.
The elections are over and changes to the political structure of our states and the nation will start to play out in the coming months. Several big things that need to get done before the new congress starts in January are already heating up. The tax extender bill which includes the pension provision that will allow pensions like ours to continue to provide benefits now and well into the future is one of the things we want to get done now. There is the pipeline project “Keystone” that has already had a vote in the House and will be taken up the week of November 17th in the Senate and will either pass or fail. And then the Affordable care act that would tax our health fund needs to be fixed now as well.
There are many more issues, and this Congress will have their hands full. One of the comments I’ve heard was, “Now that we have control we need to roll our sleeves up and get some work done.” What was the Congress doing before? “Nothing,” is the answer to that question. We all need to hold elected officials accountable for what they told us they would do if elected.
The work picture remains strong going into the winter with many building projects ongoing in all three states. One set back is the fertilizer plant in North Dakota, it appears that this whole project is going to be rebid. The contractors that were working on this have been told to stop working and close it up. We will see what happens over the winter.
The holidays are fast approaching and that information is on the web site as well. Attend one of the health meeting to learn about your health fund and what you can do to help you and your family get the best benefit from your health fund.
The training center has purchased a Manitowoc 10,000 crane and this will be on site this week. The classes are filling up fast and if you find that the one you want is full make sure you put your name on a waiting list for that class. If we get enough members and can schedule another class we will do that.
Remember you are the union, do your best and we all benefit. Work safe and have a joyful Holiday season.
A letter from IUOE General President Callahan
On August 1st, 2014, International Union of Operating Engineers General President James T. Callahan issued a written statement regarding the last-minute action in Congress to provide stopgap funding for the Highway Trust fund, which effectively delayed a long-term solution.
"Operating Engineers need Congress to do its job, so that we can do ours. There is nothing more important to the domestic American economy and the job opportunities of Operating Engineers than a robust, long-term transportation funding bill. We are tired of excuses. We are tired of the partisan games."
Read President Callahan's letter.