Coronavirus Updates for Local 49 Members
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Local 49 Was Represented at
The United States Capitol

Click to find out more about Mahaila →

“Local 49 was represented at the United States Capitol
in February as Local 49 Apprentice Mahaila Houle
attended the State of the Union hosted on February 4.
Mahaila was invited to participate in this prestigious event
by Congressman Pete Stauber from the 8th District of
Northern, MN, who wanted to bring a Local 49
member as his guest. Congressman Stauber ...”

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Second Generation Local 49
Member Started as Apprentice
and is now a Crane Operator

Click to find out more about Mitch →

“Second generation Local 49 member, Mitch Asfeld,
began as a Local 49 apprentice and is now a crane
operator and has worked on some of the most recent
notable projects. After graduating high school, Asfeld
tried attending college but shortly realized that wasn’t the path for him. “I went to college for about a semester and realized it just wasn’t
for me, and I knew that working in construction ...”

Switching from Non-Union to
Union Has Changed This
New Local 49 Member’s Life

Click to find out more about Damien →

“Damien Dimberio worked most of his career as a
non-union heavy equipment operator until one day
he took a leap of faith and joined Local 49 – with
a little help from his new business agent. He now
says, “joining Local 49 has completely changed my life,
and I can’t ever see working non-union again. ...”

Local 49 Member Joe Abeyta
is Running for State
Representative for District 5B

Click to find out more about Joe →

“Joe Abeyta, an eight-year member of Local 49, is
running for State Representative for District 5B, which
covers most of Itasca County as well as a portion of
Cass County. Joe is a proud northern Minnesotan who
moved to Grand Rapids in 2009 after 25 years in Arizona and a deployment in Iraq as he also served ten years in the
Arizona Army National Guard. ...”

Rod Vredenburg:
A Local 49 Member who
Continues to Serve his
Country for Nearly 30 years

Click to find out more about Rod →

“Command Sergeant Major Rod Vredenburg of the 1st
Squadron, 94th Cavalry Regiment currently balances
his time between being an active member of the
Minnesota Army National Guard, and a ...”


Tyler Pynnonen

Click to find out more about Tyler →

“I love that I’m able to inspire younger kids to follow
their dreams. I’m kind of a nobody kid from northern
Minnesota, and I was able to become one of the top
snowmobile athletes in the world.”

Member Resources

For more resources, visit

Learn about the new Training Center for the International Union of Operating Engineers, located in Crosby, Texas. For more details please visit and to  register for classes  click here

Looking to Have Local 49 at Your Event or Interested in Touring the Training Center?

** Due to COVID-19 all tours at the Training Center will be suspended until further notice.

Want to know our Wage Rates?

Central Pension Fund Questions?

Health Insurance Questions?

Thinking About Retirement?

Get email updates from Local 49


Text Local49 to 62346

Message from Local 49 Business Manager Jason George

Message from Local 49 Business Manager Jason George

Welcome to the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 website. My name is Jason George and I am the elected Business Manager/Financial Secretary for the Union. Local 49 was formed in 1927, and we have a proud tradition of fighting for the rights of workers in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. We represent heavy equipment operators/mechanics and stationary engineers that work in the following industries:

  • Road, Highway and Bridge Construction
  • Building Construction
  • Housing Developments
  • River Dredging and Port Work
  • Oil and Natural Gas Pipeline Construction and Maintenance
  • Fiber Optic and Other Utility Installation and Repair
  • Mining – Iron Ore, Silica Sand, and Precious Metal
  • Logging
  • Sand and Gravel pits
  • Asphalt and Concrete Plants
  • Wind and Solar Construction/Maintenance
  • Coal, Nuclear, Natural Gas Power Plants
  • Drilling
  • Equipment Rental/Maintenance Shops
  • City, County, School District and Township Construction and Maintenance
  • Waste Water Plant Operators at Metropolitan Council and Other Locations

During the last few decades in which organized labor has been under attack across the nation, Local 49 has managed to grow, and we are now at a membership of 14,000 active members strong. We are one of the largest trade unions in our region. We are also part of the 400,000 member strong International Union of Operating Engineers with Local Unions covering the United States and Canada.

Local 49 negotiates and enforces large private construction agreements that cover thousands of workers and hundreds of employers. We are proud to partner with one person firms, as well as some of the largest construction companies in America.

Local 49 also negotiates and enforces hundreds of stand alone private and public agreements representing shops as small as 2 people, and as large as 700. We represent workers under nationwide agreements in pipeline construction and maintenance as well. We are a large Local with a diverse membership that touches every aspect of infrastructure in our region.

Local 49 also provides world class benefits to our members. In conjunction with our employer partners we manage one of the largest privately funded health care plans in the region providing health care for more than 35,000 people that includes our members, their spouses, and dependents. We also partner with our employers to provide the best heavy equipment training in the industry, spending millions of dollars per year on direct training, all privately funded. Our Local and our employer partners, are the largest contributor to the 2nd largest Pension fund in America, the IUOE Central Pension Fund. Our Pension Fund is 98% funded and currently has zero withdrawal liability.

Our members are the most highly skilled workers in all the industries that they work in. Local 49 has earned respect in these industries among workers, within the business community, and within the political and regulatory arena. We are active, we are mobilized, and we stand together.

Local 49 has a long history and our members are very proud of their Union. Local 49 members are respected across the nation for their work ethic and skill. Our members build and maintain the infrastructure of this region and nation, and it is truly an honor to work for them.



Get email updates from Local 49


Text Local49 to 62346

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.


Thousands of Minnesotans have “signed the pipe” – putting their autographs on a piece of the Line 3 Replacement Pipeline. We are calling on Governor Walz to join us in saying YES to Line 3 and NO to the Minnesota Department of Commerce filing any more appeals. Show your support and “sign the pipe” while keeping social distance.

Learn more →


Respect Minnesota is a pledge to honor and respect people and their opinions and to provide a safe environment for everyone during the planning, permitting and construction of infrastructure projects, such as the Line 3 Replacement Project.

Learn more →


polymet logo

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

Find out more →

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.

Get involved →

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