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The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), diversified trade union that primarily represents Operating Engineers, who work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics, and surveyors in the construction industry, and Stationary Engineers, who work in operations and maintenance in building and industrial complexes, and in the service industries. The IUOE also represents nurses and other health industry workers as well as significant numbers of public employees engaged in a wide variety of occupations.

The IUOE today has 400,000 members in some 170 local unions throughout the United States and Canada. The IUOE is the 12th largest union in the AFL-CIO.

The IUOE was founded in 1896 when a small group of stationary engineers met in Chicago on December 7, 1896 to form the National Union of Steam Engineers of America, the forerunner of today's IUOE.

Each was from a small U.S. local union. The largest had only 40 members and all but one local was from the stationary field. The majority of these founders shared a common skill: the ability to operate the dangerous steam boilers of the day. (As tribute to these early workers, a steam gauge even today dominates the emblem, of the IUOE.)

A year later, the first Canadian workers joined the fledgling union. To reflect this expansion across the border, the union's name was changed to the International Union of Steam Engineers.

More and more construction workers signed on after the turn of the century and the union changed its name once more at its 1912 Convention to reflect this new composition, becoming the International Union of Steam and Operating Engineers, and as members began working with internal combustion engines, electric motors, hydraulic machinery and refrigerating systems, as well as steam boilers and engines, the word "steam" was dropped from the union's name and in 1928 it became the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Since its creation the IUOE has had members working on a wide variety of large-scale construction projects in United States and Canada. San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, the Panama Canal, Chicago's Sears Tower, Toronto's CN Tower and Sky Dome, New York's Empire State Building and Holland Tunnel, the Statue of Liberty, Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge, the Alaskan Pipeline and Hoover Dam were all projects worked on by members of IUOE.

IUOE is affiliated with the AFL-CIO

Most information in this write up is from http://www.iuoe.org

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