Operating Engineers

Operating Engineers, Northeastern Wisconsin Union,WI EngineersOPERATING ENGINEERS

Work Description

Operating Engineers are the operators of cranes, dozers, scrapers, loaders, motor graders, tractor loader backhoes, excavators, rollers, pavers, concrete plants and mixers, compressors, pumps and so on. Maintenance and servicing of equipment is another part of the job.

Working Conditions

Outdoors, frequently under adverse weather conditions. The nature of the work many times requires that you work far from home.


  • 18 years old and high school diploma or GED
  • Physically capable of performing the trade
  • Valid driver’s license

Application Process

  • Make applications with the Apprenticeship Committee on the Second Tuesday of the month May – October each year.
  • Submit high school transcript or GED
  • Proof of valid driver’s license

Terms of Apprenticeship

  • 6,000 hours on-the-job training
  • 400 hours related classroom instruction
  • First 1500 hours of work experience is a probationary period during which time any party to the apprenticeship contract can request that the apprentice be cancelled.
  • Wage systematically increases through out the apprenticeship

For More Information:

Operating Engineers Local #139
Website:  http://iuoe139.org/

Terry McGowan, IUOE General Vice President & Local #139 President / Business Manager
N27 W23233 Roundy Dr., PO Box 130, Pewaukee, WI 53072
Phone:  262-896-0139     Fax:  262-896-0758
Email:  tmcgowan@iuoe139.org

Shane Griesbach, Recording/Corresponding Secretary, District D Manager
Email: sgriesbach@iuoe139.org
Travis Martzahl, District D Business Representative
Email: tmartzahl@iuoe139.org
Tyler Person, District D Business Representative
Email: tperson@iuoe139.org
Kevin Doucette, District D Business Representative
Email: kdoucette@iuoe139.org
Rick Valenta, District D Business Representative
Email: rvalenta@iuoe139.org
Steven Becker, Organizer
Email: sbecker@iuoe139.org

5191 Abitz Rd., Appleton, WI 54914
Phone: 920-739-6378     Fax:  920-739-6370

Aaron Raab, District C Manager
Email: araab@iuoe139.org
Adam Kaseno, District C Business Representative
Email: akaseno@iuoe139.org
Matt Laabs, District C Business Representative
Email: mlaabs@iuoe139.org

1003 S. Hillcrest Parkway, Altoona, WI  54720
Phone:  715-838-0139     Fax: 715-834-5029

Mark Gauf, Treasurer, District B Manager
Email: mgauf@iuoe139.org

4702 S. Biltmore Lane, Madison, WI 53718
Phone: 608-243-0139     Fax: 608-243-0138

The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) is a progressive, 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. IUOE also represents nurses and other health industry workers, a significant number of public employees engaged in a wide variety of occupations, as well as a number of job classifications in the petrochemical industry.

This representation is the core of IUOE’s mission. From ensuring protections of  prevailing wages on public projects, to alleviating healthcare costs through coalition building, to improving our contractors’ competitiveness, IUOE has and will continue to be tirelessly dedicated to the common interests of its members.

Founded in 1896, IUOE today has approximately 400,000 members in 123 local unions throughout the United States and Canada. IUOE is the 10th largest union in the AFL-CIO. Over 100 state-of-the-art training and apprenticeship programs ensure that IUOE members are the safest, most productive, and highly skilled craft workers.


1125 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 429-9100
Website:  http://www.iuoe.org

International Union of Operating Engineers History

Getting to where it is today was no easy task for IUOE. The road was strewn with obstacles and resistance. It was only through dedicated leadership, sacrifice, sweat and perseverance that the union was able to advance.

Working conditions for construction and stationary workers in the late 1800s were, at best, appalling. Their wages, for 60-to-90-hour work weeks, were equally miserable. Benefits were practically unheard of.

In an effort to change those conditions, eleven pioneering individuals met in Chicago Dec. 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. (In fitting tribute to these early founders, a steam gauge even today dominates the emblem, or logo, of 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.

Their unique ability made the steam engineers vital to the operation of steam-driven construction equipment introduced on a large scale at the turn of the century.

Operating engineers flocked to San Francisco to rebuild that majestic city after it was turned to rubble in the earthquake of 1906. Additional thousands of operating engineers moved mountains in the next few years in digging the Panama Canal.

More and more construction workers signed on and the union changed its name at its 1912 convention to reflect this new composition in the first decade of the new century becoming the International Union of Steam and Operating Engineers.

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.

As the organization progressed, it attracted workers from the public sector, making it a truly diverse trade union. Passage of the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, which guaranteed construction workers’ wage rates on federally financed projects, helped the union weather the after-effects of the Great Depression and maintain its progress.

IUOE later would see thousands of its members contribute to America’s war efforts as members of the U.S. Navy’s Seabees. The Seabees were skilled construction men who carved out bases, airfields and roads in war zones from the beaches of Europe to the DMZ of Korea to the jungles of Vietnam.

IUOE’s growth and progress was fueled greatly at the end of World War II when the Federal Highway Trust Program came into existence, creating thousands of jobs for operating engineers.

In the following decades, the union persevered through boom times and lean times. Today, its members are reaping the rewards of the sacrifices and foresight of their predecessors.

And rightfully so, because the operating engineers, as much as anyone, helped build America 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—all are monuments to the skills of the members of IUOE.

In essence, IUOE is building a better tomorrow for its members – and all American and Canadian citizens.