Nearly a decade after leaving, Operating Engineers Local 701 has rejoined the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council. A contingent of seven delegates and one presenter represented the local at the building trades’ annual convention Aug. 23-25 in Lincoln City, where they were welcomed back by Executive Secretary Tim Frew to a round of applause.
“We are simply stronger together,” Local 701 Business Manager James (Jimbo) Anderson told the Labor Press. “When the house of labor is united, it benefits not only members of Operating Engineers, but all construction workers. When we’re all together it positively impacts our industry and the communities that we live in. That’s what the labor movement is all about.”
Anderson was elected business manager of Local 701 in August 2016. The union represents about 3,400 members who operate heavy construction equipment like cranes and front end loaders, as well as indoor boiler and mechanical systems.
The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) disaffiliated from the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department in 2006 to form the National Construction Alliance with several other construction unions. Local 701 in Oregon and Locals 302 and 612 in Washington left their respective state building trades councils two years later. IUOE returned to the national building trades (now called North America’s Building Trades Unions) in 2014. Locals 302 and 612 returned to the Washington Building Trades Council in July 2016.