Benefits of Joining a Labor Union

You should be working in an environment that is safe, and one that will lead to a rewarding career. You deserve a competitive wage; good benefits and a pension plan so that you can provide for your family. Think about these questions, and if you are not satisfied with your answers, we can help you to understand the benefits of becoming an operating engineer for Local 66.

Are you currently working for less?

At Local 66 we recognize that it takes hard work, dedication and many years to become a journeyman. Every equipment operator and mechanic should be paid a union wage. There is no reason why a very experienced skilled journeyman should work for less. There’s just no excuse! Let’s stop this race to the bottom.

It is a known fact that union workers earn better wages than nonunion workers. Through collective bargaining, unions have helped raise the standard of living for millions of American workers. There is a distinct economic advantage in belonging to a union and working under a union contract. According to statistics prepared by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Earnings, the average union wage earner in the United States will earn 33% more salary than their non-union counterparts.

What are you paying for non union dues?

You are paying non union dues! For every dollar per hour you work less than the union scale, you pay that much in non union dues. So $3 per hour equals $24 per day equals $120 per week. In a 40 hour work week, you are paying $120 in non union dues.

Do you have health care benefits?

Union workers are more likely than their nonunion counterparts to be covered by health care and receive pension benefits, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. In March 2008, 79 percent of union workers were covered by health insurance through their jobs, compared with only 52 percent of nonunion workers.

How long will that 401K that you are contributing to last?

At Local 66, a retiree will collect his/her pension for life! And, so will their spouse. Plus, Local 66 has an annuity plan as a supplement for your enjoyment i.e. vacation or hobby. So if you think that your 401K compares … do the math.

Do you understand prevailing wage?

Prevailing Wage laws are good for workers, communities, and local economies. By ensuring that workers on public works and other publicly supported projects are paid the prevailing wage, governments invest in the people who build the projects and ensure that taxpayers receive quality infrastructure that stands the test of time. Prevailing wage regulations are also good for communities, putting dollars in the hands of working families, securing their health and welfare through benefits such as health insurance and pensions, and promoting the development of new skilled workers through joint labor-management apprenticeship programs. Lastly, prevailing wage regulations help local economies by preventing “low-ball” bids that undermine local standards, thereby encouraging companies to grow along a higher-wage, higher-skill path that leads to a safer and more experienced workforce and gives working families more disposable income to spend in their communities. The prevailing wage law requires contractors working on state-funded projects like roads and schools to pay the average wage for the various trades (source:

These laws are constantly under attack

If it was not for the efforts of organized labor, and the many dollars spent to protect these laws, we would all be working for minimum wages and no benefits.

Are there safety measures in place at your workplace?

Unions often times demand safety upgrades and safer sites. At Local 66 we demand that our operators are following every safety guideline, and encourage regular training and certifications on equipment. We offer a four-year joint apprenticeship program. The Western Pennsylvania Operating Engineers Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program is a non-profit educational training program organized for the purpose of providing qualified Heavy Equipment Operators and Mechanic Technicians to employers in the construction industry by utilizing two related but separate apprenticeship courses: a Heavy Equipment Operator course and a Heavy Equipment Mechanic Technician course. Each course is 4 years in length and combines training at our site in New Alexandria, PA with actual on-the-job experience. Continuing education and certification classes are available to journeymen on an on-going basis. Also, the program offers training on new technology that comes into the industry.

Did you know: There are only two certified operating engineers’ apprenticeship programs in Pennsylvania, and we offer one of them!

Are you working in a drug free zone? Do I need to pass a drug test?

Yes. Drug use is not tolerated in the construction industry where safety is a life and death issue. It’s just common sense! It is mandatory with our contractors; and we require our members to be drug free.

What does having a contract mean?

Having a contract gives you a voice! As a member of the union, you vote on your contract. You establish your wage and benefits.

As an unrepresented worker, you have no contract, no voice, and no rights.

Shawn Bertiaux

Marketing Director

Local 66

412-968-9120 x. 116

John Hack

Marketing Representative

Local 66

412-968-9120 x. 117

Mark Shepler

Marketing Representative

Local 66

412-968-9120 x. 147

Gary Breidegam

Marketing Representative

Local 66

412-968-9120 x. 123