IUOE Local 450
International Union of Operating Engineers

  • June 14, 2021
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  • What is a union?

    A union is simply a group of workers united, so that they may have a collective voice in their workplace. It gives the workers an opportunity to express their opinions on matters pertaining to employee treatment, wages, benefits and work conditions. It is formed by the people for the people. In addition, workers who assemble collectively and take concerted action, have added protections under federal law, in which other workers do not.  

    How does one benefit from being in a union?

    You will have your best interest represented and protected on the work site. On average, union members’ wages and benefits are considerably higher than nonunion workers. They have jobs that offer health insurance benefits and pension plans in which the employer contributes a negotiated amount, rather than being deducted from the employee’s wages. These benefits are protected with a binding contract between the workers and employers. One of the functions of a local union is to enforce these agreements and represent members when the terms are not met.

    What are union dues used for?

    The money is used to provide expert services including lawyers, negotiators and economists for representation, as well as for member education, training, and certification purposes. It pays the salaries of all the staff members involved in administering the Locals daily operations, custodial and maintenance services, utilities, and all expenses generated operating a business.

    Where does the surplus money go?

    It goes into a “General Fund”. These funds are used for emergencies, member functions and unexpected expenses. The Executive Board must vote and provide account for the usage and the membership is given detailed information.

    How can we track the "General Fund" and it's activity?


    A report of all expenditures is given at our monthly member’s meeting. You can also call or visit the Local and obtain such information.

    What is the purpose for the monthly union meeting?

    The meetings are designed for the entire membership to assemble and collectively make decisions concerning the Local’s business and affairs. We make proposals, present ideas and all vote on the “Motions” presented to the membership. It is a key source for current information and a means to stay actively involved in the Local’s operations.

    I have a relative that had a “bad union experience”, how is your organization any better?

    Though most labor organizations have the same fundamental concept and structure, it is the Local’s leadership and membership participation that lends to its success.  

    I hear senior members get the best jobs, how can I compete for those positions being recently initiated?

    You won’t have to. We use a roster system that is not based on seniority. It operates on a “first come, first serve” basis and is regulated by the Department of Labor.

    Can you keep me busy?

    Our Locals have contracts with the leading Crane and Rigging companies in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Our work only slows when the industry is slack. As an IUOE member, you will be eligible to be employed by any of our signatory companies, as well as through any one of our local unions in the United States or Canada.

    I'm good at my job and I can find my own work...why should I pay union dues?  

    We think you should do a short calculation.  Take the amount you earn per hour, subtract the amount taken out for your health care and your 401K plan contributions (and any other non-tax deductions) and compare that to the union scale minus the dues.  Since the union health insurance and the defined benefit pension plan do not require deductions, we think you will see that the dues required to provide professional representation are a small fraction of what is gained by having a collective bargaining agreement in place. Other than the monetary gains common with a CBA, it also provides additional job security and improves working conditions. 

    Is it true that the Local Unions provides the training and testing necessary for its members’ CDL licensing and industry certifications?

    Yes. Our new state-of-the-art training facilities will ensure that our members have the best training opportunities and necessary certifications/licenses available to them.  This is a benefit to membership, without additional cost. 

    Page Last Updated: Aug 05, 2013 (06:17:33)
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