Crane Industry United Unions Introduction

Union?  Non-union?  Collective bargaining? 

This web page will be updated regularly with information intended to inform crane industry professionals about IUOE Locals 178, 406, 450 and 627.  

Even though our four Local Unions are all part of the 400,000 member IUOE, and we each have contracts with companies you are familiar with, each Local is its own separate organization. Check out theLocal Unions pagefor more information on each local and to see how the jurisdictions are set up.    

We know some of you are former members, and we would like the opportunity to show you the changes and improvements that have taken place with our locals over the last few years.  You can see what some of our long-time members, as well as new members, are saying about their experience on the Testimonials page.

Check out the March 2014 Hoisting News! 

There is a lot of information out there about joining a union, about collective bargaining, and about what is legal or not legal for employers and unions to do. We encourage you to take a look at as much information as possible. We just ask that you always consider the source of your information.

If you get information about unions from groups like the Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute, or from websites like "unionfacts", it will be anti-union.
On the other hand, if you view information from the Economic Policy Institute, the Political Economy Research Institute or from websites like, it will likely be pro-union.

We are confident that the more information you look at, you will agree that your priorities are the same as that of our members and the IUOE. For "just the facts" on your rights to join a union, check out our"Your Rights" page.

Questions?  We've Got answers!

Have more questions? Check out our "Resources" and "FAQ" pages. The Resources page provides links, downloadable documents about wages and benefits, a "cost of living" comparison of Houston and other more unionized areas of the country, and additional information on your guaranteed rights.

The Frequently Asked Questions page has responses to the questions that we hear from non-union workers on a daily basis. We have nothing to hide, if your question is not answered somewhere on this website, or if you need clarification on a topic please call, email, or visit one of our Locals! 


IUOE Transportation Work

AFL-CIO Affiliate Training Programs

Local Union Pictures

We are very proud of our local union meeting halls and training facilities.  With our locals' modern equipment and university quality classrooms, we are ideally set up to continue the longstanding IUOE tradition of training and certifying the best operators in the industry...and the best part is, it is all included in our memberships!

Crane Industry News Archive

Northwest Crane Service
Check out some pictures of Northwest Crane Service and Local 627 members at work.  Northwest has several locations around Oklahoma with cranes up to 750t. 

Magnolia LNG Enters Agreement with SKEC Group    
One of the LNG export facilities proposed for Southwest Louisiana, the Magnolia LNG project, has signed a technical services agreement with SK E&C USA Inc.  Magnolia LNG is a subsidiary of Liquefied Natural Gas Company LTD and SK E&C USA Inc. is a subsidiary of SK Engineering and Construction Co. LTD.  
The agreement relates to the engineering, procurement and construction work being done for the project near the port of Lake Charles, LA.  The SKEC Group will assist Magnolia LNG with front end engineering design (FEED), with the final resource reports the project must submit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and will provide a detailed lump sum turnkey cost by November 28th, 2014 (among other tasks).  Click over to
this article on for more information.   

The Magnolia LNG project is being designed to export up to 8 million tonne per annum of liquefied natural gas.  The project is expected to cost about $3.5 billion and will create 65-70 direct jobs and 175 indirect jobs.  About 1,000 workers will be needed for construction.  Currently they are hoping to start construction in mid-2015 and are hoping to start operations in mid-2018.  Click here to see Magnolia LNG’s project flyer for more information.  

As mentioned Magnolia LNG is a subsidiary of Liquefied Natural Gas Company, LTD, which is an Australian based, publicly traded company.  SK Engineering and Construction is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. 

Crane Industry News

Corpus Christi Port Expansion    
Frank Brogan, Managing Director for the Port Authority of Corpus Christi has seen a major turnaround at the facility in the last couple of years. “It’s a historic time right now for our port.  I’ve been here 27 years, and we’ve had more activity in the last two years than in the previous 25 combined.”
The catalyst for the change, like for so many other recent developments in the US, has been the massive boom in oil production.  For Corpus Christi, that oil primarily comes from the Eagle Ford Shale development.  

NuStar Energy LP. just opened its 3rd petroleum dock at the Corpus Christi port.  NuStar has storage for about 1.6 million barrels of crude oil at the facility, and with their third dock now finished, they can load about 30,000 barrels per hour onto outgoing ships.  All of this is fed by the company’s two existing pipelines connected to the Eagle Ford.  

To get an idea of the increase in crude oil going out of the Port of Corpus Christi, consider this:  in the first months of 2012, they were sending out about 10,000 barrels a day.  By the end of2013 theywere averaging over 350,000.  While Corpus Christi has three area refineries, two of them are designed to process thick, high-sulfur crude oil and only one is currently set up to process the light sweet crude that comes from the Eagle Ford.  About 80% of the crude oil being loaded on to the tankers is destined for other refineries along the Gulf Coast, with the rest going to the east coast of the US and Canada.  
 The increase in full ships going out has caused a few complications for the ports infrastructure.  Previously, oil tankers were leaving the port empty, and they could pass an incoming ship without difficulty.  However, the ship channel is simply not wide or deep enough to allow two full ships to pass each other. The port is seeking funding to widen and deepen the channel.  Also, with the increased ship traffic, the port has limited pilots to running during daylight hours only.  

According to Authority Director Brogan, about $22 billion in further construction is planned at the port.  Cheniere Energy, Magellan Midstream Partners, Castleton Commodities International, and Valero all have major projects either under construction or planned.  The price of land around the port is up to $300,000 per acre.  He says the port currently employees about 7,000 people, and another 5,000-10,000 are doing construction work on new projects.  Brogan said, “It’s a challenge for employers to find good-quality people.  There’s no shortage of jobs.”

Click here for more information from Business Week.