Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0609
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Full Text of HR0609  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Working conditions for construction and
3stationary workers in the late 1800s were appalling; their
4wages for 60-to-90-hour work weeks were equally miserable, and
5benefits were practically non-existent; and
6    WHEREAS, In an effort to change those conditions, eleven
7pioneering individuals met in Chicago on December 7, 1896 to
8form the National Union of Steam Engineers of America; and
9    WHEREAS, A year later, the first Canadian workers joined
10the fledgling union; to reflect this expansion across the
11border, the union's name was changed to the International
12Union of Steam Engineers; and
13    WHEREAS, Members of the union flocked to San Francisco to
14rebuild that majestic city after it was turned to rubble in the
15earthquake of 1906; thousands of operating engineers also
16moved mountains in the next few years while digging the Panama
17Canal; and
18    WHEREAS, As steam-driven construction became widespread
19across the U.S., more and more construction workers joined,
20and the union changed its name at its 1912 convention to
21reflect this new composition in the first decade of the new



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1century, becoming the International Union of Steam and
2Operating Engineers; and
3    WHEREAS, As members began working with internal combustion
4engines, electric motors, hydraulic machinery, and
5refrigerating systems as well as steam boilers and engines,
6the word "steam" was dropped from the union's name, and in
71928, it became the International Union of Operating Engineers
8(IUOE); and
9    WHEREAS, As the organization progressed, it attracted
10workers from the public sector, making it a truly diverse
11trade union; and
12    WHEREAS, Passage of the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, which
13guaranteed construction workers' wage rates on federally
14financed projects, helped the union weather the after-effects
15of the Great Depression and maintain its progress; and
16    WHEREAS, IUOE would later see thousands of its members
17contribute to America's war efforts as members of the U.S.
18Navy's Seabees; the Seabees were skilled construction men who
19built bases, airfields, and roads in war zones, including the
20beaches of Europe, the DMZ of Korea, and the jungles of
21Vietnam; and



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1    WHEREAS, IUOE's growth and progress was fueled greatly at
2the end of World War II when the Federal Highway Trust Program
3came into existence, creating thousands of jobs for operating
4engineers; and
5    WHEREAS, In the following decades, the union persevered
6through boom times and lean times and is still going strong
7today; and
8    WHEREAS, Projects that are critical to Illinois'
9commercial, education, transportation, health, energy, and
10logistics systems are built by and are monuments to the skills
11of the members of the IUOE; and
12    WHEREAS, IUOE is building a better tomorrow for its
13members and all American and Canadian citizens, and Illinois
14plays an important role in the leadership of the organization;
15James M. Sweeney, local 150 President-Business Manager, is the
16General Secretary Treasurer of the IUOE, serving in the second
17highest office in the International Union; in addition,
18operating engineers have been vocal supporters of
19infrastructure modernization and currently work statewide on
20projects funded by the Rebuild Illinois capital plan;
21therefore, be it



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2we congratulate the International Union of Operating
3Engineers, Local 150 on its 125-year anniversary; and be it
5    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
6presented to IUOE, Local 150 as a symbol of our esteem and