The Union Advantage:

Unions improve wage equality by

  • raising wages more for low- and middle-income workers than for those more highly paid,
  • improving pay and benefits more for blue-collar than for white-collar workers, and
  • providing more improvment for workers who lack a college degree.

For current research on the benefits of unions, see Unions, inequality, and faltering middle-class wages, from the Economic Policy Institute.

FAQs: Answers to the common questions about working with unions

But modern Labor Unions are not just good for their members. There are real benefits for employers who rely on union professionals to get the job done.

Still Not Sure?

CLICK HERE to examine some of the Myths & Truths of Working with IUOE Local 49...

Let’s examine some of the Myths & Truths: Working with IUOE Local 49. We’re proud, highly-trained, and we commit to pulling our weight on the job all day, every day.

Myth 1: Union operators cost too much (i.e. wages and benefits.)
Truth: Qualified, skilled operators actually lower overall job costs through quality work and high productivity.

Myth 2: I have to pay the same for all operators regardless of skill levels.
Truth: Local 49 offers various wage rates throughout our jurisdiction on all equipment. In addition, Local 49 has a Minnesota state approved Apprenticeship Program where operators receive a lower wage rate while they develop their skills.

Myth 3: Union contractors have no control over the workforce.
Truth: The employer has the right to decide the size of the crew.

Myth 4: Union contracts limit flexibility and productivity and dictate restrictive work rules and working conditions on construction jobsites.
Truth: Local 49 agreements are responsive to contractors’ needs for flexibility. Our union contractors wouldn’t have the strong, successful businesses they have if Local 49 was holding them back.

Myth 5: Union contractors have no control over hiring.
Truth: Contractors can specify skills, request workers by name, determine qualifications and reject any referral from the Union.

Myth 6: I can’t compete against local contractors as a union contractor in my market niche.
Truth: Your current markets include many successful union contractors and subcontractors. Properly trained, highly skilled operators are efficient and take pride in doing the job right the first time.

Myth 7: If I sign your agreement my guys will be hit with huge fees and union dues, and they will be replaced with “union cronies.”
Truth: The long-term benefits will more than offset the cost of union dues and the law prohibits excluding “your guys” from the Union.

Operating Engineers at the World Trade Center


See America’s Unions Make a Difference Across The Country