Industries Represented by Local 987 (click to learn more)
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The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) is a diversified international trade union founded in 1896. Historically, the IUOE represented primarily two broad categories of workers - Operating Engineers who work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics and surveyors in the construction industry (commonly known as "hoisting and portable" members), and Stationary Engineers who work in operations and maintenance in building and industrial complexes and in the service industries. Today the IUOE also represents nurses and other health care industry workers as well as a significant numbers of public sector employees engaged in a wide variety of occupations.
The IUOE currently has over 400,000 members in some 170 locals throughout Canada and the United States, making it the 12th largest union in the AFL-CIO. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Union is presently led by General President Vincent J. Giblin.
In 1948, the IUOE granted a charter to Local 827 to represent power engineers in the province of Manitoba. In the beginning, Local 827 had a relatively small membership, representing engineers at the Health Sciences Centre, Misericordia Hospital, and some dairies.
Meanwhile, in 1958 the International chartered Local 901 as the first "hoisting and portable" local in Manitoba representing crane operators, heavy equipment operators, and other construction and municipal workers.
In the years following their establishment, both IUOE locals in Manitoba continued to grow steadily and the variety of employees and workplaces represented by each gradually expanded. Local 827 grew rapidly in the 1970s under the leadership of its first business manager, George Smith, who was succeeded in 1992 by John Peterson. Meanwhile, Local 901 expanded, strengthened and diversified under business managers Mike Kuzminski, Jim Hopkie, and Jim Murphy. The idea of amalgamating Local 827 and Local 901 into one combined IUOE local had been raised from time to time but it was not until 1998 that the idea was pursued seriously. Discussions began between the Executive Boards of the two local unions, and a formal merger took place on January 1, 1999. The new combined local was issued a charter as Local 987 under the leadership of business manager Jim Murphy, and Local 987 became the successor to Locals 827 and 901.
As a result of the 1999 merger, Local 987 now has a total of over 2300 members organized in five sub-locals as follows:
Local 987A has a membership consisting primarily of stationary engineers (maintenance and trades) performing building maintenance and equipment maintenance in a number of hospitals, universities, hotels, a convention centre, and a variety of manufacturing and food processing plants.
Local 987 covers members employed by natural gas pipeline and oil pipeline construction companies, general contractors, industrial mechanical contractors, piling contractors, and crane rental companies.
Local 987B has members employed with construction companies based in Brandon, MB and Winnipeg, MB involved in road building and sewer and water construction at sites throughout Manitoba.
Local 987C has a varied membership including public works and office employees with numerous rural municipalities, towns and villages throughout southern Manitoba, equipment rental and maintenance businesses, metal and plastic recycling operations, and other manufacturing and processing plants.
Local 987D covers hospital health care and housekeeping aides and nurses as well as building maintenance personnel employed at hospitals, universities, and a public housing authority.