WHERE WE CAME FROM
Local 926 hasn’t always represented the operators in this area. When our Local was chartered in 1926 for the Atlanta area, there were 20 charter members. Over the years, since 1926, we have grown (through the mergers of Local 926, Local 443 and Local 329) to our current membership of approximately 1,265. We recognize the need for an effective union in order to negotiate fair wages and conditions and to run our welfare plans and pension programs. Our charter members got things going when pension programs and health plans were only a dream. The members of our Local during the fifties and sixties get full credit for establishing our health, welfare and pension funds. The membership of the sixties and seventies deserve credit for establishing our training programs. Each generation of Local 926 members has stood together to improve our wages and expand our fringe benefits. And sooner or later you’ll have your chance to help build a better union – for yourselves and for those who will follow you into the proud ranks of the Operating Engineers.
No member of Local 926 would want to work under the 1926 contract now, but those contracts were pretty good in their day. The fact that each new contract has been an improvement over the previous contracts demonstrates three important points:
First, we’ve inherited a lot from the engineers who came before us.
Second, we’ve got an obligation to protect what we’ve been given.
Third, we have a duty to stick together to make things better for ourselves and the future members of Local 926.
HOW WE GOT THERE
What most members don’t understand is the thousands of hours spent on getting ready to go to the bargaining table. They don’t understand the countless hours, hundreds of arguments and occasional beefs that are part of hammering out a fair collective bargaining agreement. They don’t know about the picket lines, organizing drives and the actions of our members who sacrificed their paychecks and went on strike when the employers wouldn’t listen to reason.
Most members don’t know the story of how we fought to win such important benefits as:
a. The grievance procedure that gives us the right to challenge arbitrary management decisions.
b. The safety and health protections written into our contracts, and those protections built into law under OSHA.
c. Our overtime provisions and show-up time clauses.
d. The equal employment opportunity provisions that prohibit discrimination.
e. The working rules that protect our jurisdiction and your job.
YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE…
As you can see, the IUOE and Local 926 have made tremendous gains over the years. And yet there are many challenges ahead. We have not achieved all that we feel is right and needed. But with your help, we will continue to march forward – to make the sacrifices necessary to bring a better life to our members and to insure the dignity of every man and woman in our Local.
THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE…
That work must be done on the job, in our Local and in the community.
Our Engineers Political Education Committee ( EPEC) is the political action arm of our Local. In addition to your contributions, we need volunteers from time to time to help in the election of candidates who agree with our trade union goals. We need active participants for our Safety Committee, which plays an important role in keeping all of us constantly aware of safety and health hazards on and off the job.
Our Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program, JATP, is equipped to offer you training on different kinds of equipment, or to provide upgrading training in a wide variety of skills. Use it.
You see, our Local not only has a proud heritage, it has a progressive future and an exciting NOW. We have been front and center in the fight for all those things that make for a better life for workers and other folks. The members of this Local elect their officers. Our officers appoint representatives, shop stewards and committee members. All of these leaders are charged with the critical task of keeping our union in the forefront in the battle for individual dignity on the job, democracy in our Local, and justice in the legislature. The officers of the Local are listed on this website. They are available to provide information about any facet of our Local’s activities.
We are pleased to have you as a member of Local 926. What has been achieved – what has been built – we now share with you. As part of this heritage, you also inherit some responsibilities.
Support your union! Get involved in its activities and programs. Attend your meetings. They are held on the third Friday night of each month at 7:30 PM. You are welcome. You are needed.
HERITAGE AND YOUR FUTURE…
Years from now, young men and women will join the ranks of this local and hear of the achievements made by those who built it and improve it. Your contributions will be an important part of that story. You became a part of our future the day you signed up for the Operating Engineers.