Message from Local 49 Business Manager Jason George

Political elections will be happening around the nation on Tuesday, November 6th. While politics is something that I think everyone is disappointed by these days, it is absolutely something we can’t afford to ignore. Every job that Local 49 members perform is impacted by politics and who wins elections. Our jobs depend on the government to fund infrastructure, provide permits for private sector projects like pipelines and maintain our cities, counties and waste water systems. Operating Engineers do this important work, but if we don’t elect people that believe in these things, our jobs will not be there. In addition to work, our ability to have a strong Union is at stake in every election. We have seen the devastating results of anti-Union candidates being elected in Wisconsin, Michigan and other states in the Midwest.

I am proud to say that Minnesota is the only state in the Midwest that has not had any significant advancement of Right to Work laws or attacks on Prevailing Wage. That success isn’t by accident. We have all worked to build relationships with elected officials from both political parties willing to support us on these issues. Once again this year, our endorsement recommendations reflect our commitment to support candidates from any party that support us. We are recommending a good mixture of democrats and republicans for your support. This bi-partisan approach reflects the political leanings of our membership and is also the best approach to ensure that we have friends everywhere and are not at the mercy of one party losing an election.

I hope you will support our endorsed candidates, but more importantly, please make sure you exercise your right to vote on November 6. All members should have or will be receiving a political newsletter in the mail that states our endorsements, which you can bring in the voting booth with you. You can also click here to view the political newsletter.

The future looks bright for Local 49. Work has been steady and looks even better for 2019. We have the opportunity in front of us to grow and increase our strength in all of the areas where we represent members. That will be our focus as we move forward, but the only way we do that is if members are engaged in their Union. We will strive to make it easier for you to know what is happening, and give you opportunities to participate.

Together, all of us are unstoppable and the sky is the limit.


Jason George, Local 49 Business Manager/Financial Secretary

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IUOE Local 49 is interested in learning about health and safety at construction sites. The goal of this survey is to make your workplace a safe environment for you and your coworkers.

For taking this survey, you will be entered in a drawing for a Local 49 engraved Leatherman Knife.

What is “Prevailing Wage”?

Prevailing Wage laws set wage rates for construction workers on publicly financed projects. On prevailing wage jobs, contractors are not allowed to pay less than the area wage rates for each craft.

The wage rates are set by the government – each area of the state has their own rates, and rates are based on wage surveys turned in by contractors and workers on construction jobs in their area. The government sets the rates for each area based on those surveys and what workers make on those jobs.

Our prevailing wage law ensures that all blue-collar workers building our roads, bridges and infrastructure can earn good pay for a hard day’s work. But some out-of-state organizations want to lower the wages for construction workers.

What is “Right To Work”?

Do you realize that a worker can spend an entire career working at a Union shop, pay zero dues their entire career because they’re in a so-called “right-to-work” state, and then get the same pension and health care in retirement that dues paying members get?

No other organization in America is forced to provide services and benefits to people who pay nothing for those services and benefits.

It is time to bring some fairness back into this system – Unions should be allowed to charge for the services that they are legally required to provide to workers that chose to work at a Union shop.

Elevate Minnesota is the statewide public relations campaign where through this effort, working class unions are going to speak directly to the people of Minnesota about the value we bring to the state.

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The PolyMet mining project will mean thousands of jobs for construction workers.

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Jobs for Minnesotans

Local 49 Special Projects Director Jason George serves on the board of Jobs for Minnesotans. This organization is fighting for jobs in mining, pipelines, and power production in Northeast MN.

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The Enbridge Line 3 Project is a critical project for members of Local 49 that would create thousands of jobs, and it is in danger. Show your support for this project by attending public hearings that will be hosted throughout the state.

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