We are in the middle of a critical legislative push to make our workplaces safer for our members. In particular, you may know that some of our pipeline workers have either come under attack, had their equipment sabotaged or had protesters put themselves in danger by coming onto the worksite in recent years. Some state legislators are sticking their necks out for construction workers like us and they need our support in order to get the political ball across the goal line.
A bill called the “Worker Safety and Energy Security Act” (Senate Bill 386) has already had a hearing and passed the State Assembly and now needs to secure senate support. I urge you to contact our good friend Senator Janet Bewley who has been a strong supporter of ours and thank her for sponsoring this important bill. Here is some language that was used by two of our members who recently published a letter to the editor in some northern Wisconsin newspapers.
[Dear Senator Bewley,]
Increasingly, hard-working construction workers—including Wisconsin Operating Engineers—have come under some form of attack as people protest projects we’re working on. That is unacceptable.
In recent years, critical infrastructure worksites in the Midwest have seen millions of dollars of construction equipment set on fire, hydraulic lines punctured, and other property vandalized.
We want to thank Senator Janet Bewley for her support of Senate Bill 386 – the “Worker Safety and Energy Security Act.”
The bill doesn’t create new laws to protect us, rather it expands already existing statutes that protect other critical infrastructure to include pipelines of any description – petroleum, renewable fuel, chemical and water. We work on these pipelines and we need to be safe.
Members, please either email Sen.Bewley@legis.wisconsin.gov or call her office at (608) 266-3510 and tell her, “We support SB 386 because worker safety is important to workers and doesn’t need to come at the expense of free speech.”
IUOE Local 139 President/Business Manager
IUOE General Vice President