WASHINGTON, D.C. (PAI Union News Service) — Nearly eight years after leaving, the International Union of Operating Engineers rejoined the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department on Jan. 1.
“Raising our collective voice and acting with common purpose through this affiliation will benefit not only IUOE members, but all union construction tradesmen and women,” said Operating Engineers international President James Callahan. “We look forward to working with (BCTD) to create opportunities for construction workers and to provide a reliable and highly skilled workforce for contractors and owners. The construction industry and its workforce endured significant losses in the recent recession, but by working together as North America’s building trades unions, we can achieve a brighter and more prosperous future for our members.”
Building Trades Department President Sean McGarvey called the reaffiliation “a great day” for the construction industry in North America in general, and the union construction industry in particular.
“With the Operating Engineers as a formal partner, we will better serve the needs of our clients, our customers, our contractors and, most importantly, the members we represent,” he said.
The Operating Engineers has approximately 400,000 members in 123 local unions throughout the United States and Canada, including Local 701 in Gladstone, Oregon, and Washington Locals 286 in Auburn, 302 in Bothell, 280 in Richland, 370 in Spokane, and 612 in Tacoma.
It is the 10th largest union in the AFL-CIO.
With the addition of the Operating Engineers, the Building and Construction Trades Department now consists of 14 national and international unions that collectively represent nearly 3 million construction workers in the United States and Canada.