SC&RA follows up Operating Engineers Agreement with speech at IUOE Meeting

- SC&RA Executive Vice President Joel Dandrea and Bragg Companies’ Vice President Scott Bragg participated at the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Executive Council meeting in Maui, Hawaii on Feb. 8. They came at the invitation of IUOE General President James Callahan.

Bragg was a member of the SC&RA Crane & Rigging Group’s Labor Committee task force that worked to establish an Operating Engineers Agreement between the Association and IUOE, which was signed the previous month. Other members of that task force were Randy Goddard (Chair), International Industrial Contracting Corporation; Bill Smith, NBIS; Bill Tierney, Imperial Crane Service; and Mike Vlaming, Vlaming & Associates. Bragg, Goddard and Vlaming will serve on the National Labor/Management Committee to address any ongoing issues and interpretations that may arise between contractors and the operating engineers.

The historic, far-reaching agreement, which SC&RA had pursued for over ten years, addresses the changing environment of industry businesses and seeks to increase competitiveness, market share for signatory employers and work opportunities for union members. It focuses on employer training programs for the operation of specialized equipment; portability of manpower; wages and fringe benefits; starting time hours, overtime and shift work; assignment of duties and manning; and operator certification.

“We had been trying for years to convince IUOE about the value of an agreement, but there was virtually no interest until Jim Callahan took the reins and he and his Chief of Staff, Joe Giacin, began meeting with us in 2013,” said Goddard, long-time Chair of SC&RA’s Crane & Rigging Group Labor Committee “The signing of this agreement is a major step for both organizations primarily because it provides the standardization necessary for SC&RA members to work outside of their geographical area on a project by project basis.”   

In his presentation to the IUOE Executive Council and all business managers of IUOE locals, Dandrea summarized the Association’s membership, its role in industry, its industry partners and the major issues being addressed by SC&RA that also are a concern for IUOE, including oversize/overweight permit harmonization; the European Crane Standard EN13000; the Hours of Service exemption for specialized carriers; U.S. customs involving self-propelled modular transporters; the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; crane operator certification; and the skilled labor shortage.

He concluded with an overview of ways SC&RA had previously worked together with the IUOE as partners, including:
  • The SC&RA Labor Committee, whose mission is to study and recommend actions on labor relations issues
  • Operating Cranes Around Powerlines (DVD), which conforms to the current OSHA standard and is used by the IUOE in its crane training
  • Coalition for Crane Operator Safety, which is dedicated to ensuring swift and effective resolution of the long-awaited OSHA Crane Operator Certification Standard; it includes SC&RA and IUOE, as well as eight other organizations
  • Lift & Move USA, a series of events that showcase careers in the cranes, rigging and specialized transportation industry, which has benefited considerably from the participation of local IUOE chapters.
  • A request for exemption for crane operators from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s House-of-Service regulation
  • Efforts to fortify training, safety and market share for both SC&RA companies and operating engineers

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