Learn about heavy equipment classes for high school students

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
  • Water and 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 38,000 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 95% funded and currently has zero withdrawal liability.

Our members are the most highly skilled workers in all industries 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.


Do you want to earn wages and benefits that afford you a good lifestyle without racking up student loan debt?

Do you have skills as a heavy equipment operator but aren’t getting paid what you deserve or lack benefits?

Do you want your job to have meaning, and to help build our country?

If you answered yes to any of these questions – becoming a member of our Union is the future you are looking for.



  • 2022 Retirees River Cruise details for attendees

    The 2022 Retirees River Cruise is full and cannot accept additional attendees. Below are details for those who submitted RSVPs. What: Local 49 Retirees River Cruise When: Tuesday, Oct. 11,…

  • Local 49 endorses Emmer for reelection

    Local 49 has endorsed Congressman Tom Emmer for reelection in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. “Congressman Emmer has been an advocate for family-supporting, union jobs, including his unwavering support of Davis-Bacon…

  • IUOE Local 49 Endorses Schultz for attorney general

    The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, Minnesota’s largest construction union, endorses Jim Schultz for Minnesota attorney general. (See the formal press release here.) Local 49 Business Manager Jason…

  • 2022 Metro Area Picnic a success

    Approximately 900 people attended Local 49’s 2022 Metro Area Picnic Sunday, Sept. 25, at Hope Glen Farm in Cottage Grove. It was a beautiful day for food and fun with…

  • Get authorized 49er gear on new website

    A new website, 49ergear.com, makes it easy to buy authorized Local 49 clothing. Find high-quality, union-made clothes that fit your personality. Whether you’re looking for T-shirts and polos for the…


    Members who work under the Minnesota Builders or Highway Heavy agreements can vote through 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, on how to allocate wage and benefit increases that will take…


Political Action

Learn more about our non-partisan approach to politics, and what IUOE Local 49 is doing to create jobs and protect our collective bargaining rights.



At Local 49’s Training Center we are committed to the best possible educational opportunities for members of IUOE Local 49


The road to a healthier you.

The Operating Engineers Local 49 Health and Welfare Fund is a self funded multi-employer health plan with approximately 38,000 participants. The Fund is overseen by a board of trustees made up of both Labor and Management.


Sign up for our newsletter