August 25, 2016
Salem, OR- Gladstone headquartered Operating Engineers Local 701 is about to get a new set of leaders. In mail ballots counted Aug. 4, James “Jimbo” Anderson defeated incumbent business manager Nelda Wilson 529 to 372. Anderson, a former president and longtime union organizer at Local 701, ran on a slate with a dozen other members, all but one of whom also won office, defeating incumbent officers.
Local 701 has about 3,400 members in Oregon and Southwest Washington. They operate heavy construction equipment like cranes and front end loaders, as well as indoor boiler and mechanical systems.
Anderson, 54, grew up in a family of union steel mill and ironworkers from Youngstown, Ohio. He worked as a structural iron worker as a member of Ironworkers Local 433 in Los Angeles before moving to Oregon and joining Local 701 in 1994. He worked for Campbell Crane, and was active in the union, eventually coming on staff under the direction of business manager Mark Holliday. At the local, he worked as a dispatcher, organizer, director of organizing, and field representative. He helped unionize the concrete pump industry and windmill work, and increased union market share in the crane industry. When Holliday retired, Wilson was appointed to replace him, and Anderson went back to the trade and worked at JH Kelly and Anderson Construction. Anderson ran for business manager in 2013, and narrowly lost to Wilson.
Now, as business manager, Anderson said he’ll prioritize transparency and unifying the local.
“If we don’t unite our membership, we’re not going to be able to accomplish anything,” Anderson said.
Anderson and the other officers will be sworn in Sept. 1 to three-year terms of office.