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 the Local Unions page for 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.
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 likehttp://www.workingamerica.org/, 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.
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!
The town of Nixon, TX is located about an hour southeast of San Antonio. It has a population of about 2,200. According to recent data, the median household income in Nixon is about $22,000 (less than half the median nationwide). Many of its main street businesses have been closed.
So, why was Nixon recently highlighted in a story in the New York Times? It provides an example of how the new oil boom in the United States can really turn around a small town. A refinery has existed on the outskirts of Nixon since about 1980, but since being built, it has been closed for more years than it has been open. It is a relatively small, 56 acre facility, that traditionally has had a hard time competing with the mega-refineries further south and east along the Gulf Coast that could purchase huge amounts of crude oil from world-wide suppliers.
That all changed with the massive increase in oil production in the Eagle Ford Shale in south Texas. Thanks to new drilling technology, high grade crude oil is now being pumped out of the ground all over the region.
Today, Blue Dolphin Energy operates the refinery, processing that Eagle Ford crude into a range of products, including diesel fuel, naphtha and atmospheric gas. They run about 15,000 barrels of crude through the system every day and have a storage capacity of close to 300,000 barrels.
Restarting the refinery had a great impact on the town. The facility employs more than 50 local residents, many of who were previously out of work. The great thing about higher paying jobs is that the people then spend a big portion of that money locally. According to the New York Times article, the local restaurants are now full with workers and truck drivers associated with the refinery. It has been reported that investors are exploring the idea of building a new hotel in Nixon.
The new work, incomes, and spending has also meant that sales tax revenue has doubled since the refinery opened. This has allowed the town to improve roads and its water system and to hire an additional police officer. Likewise, property values in the little town have increased nearly 400%.
The success of the recent surge in oil refining is certainly not limited to small Nixon, TX. The big refineries along the Gulf Coast are also ramping up production and several smaller refineries are being built in elsewhere in Texas, in North Dakota and in Utah. Valero alone is expected to spend $800 million in the near future to upgrade its existing refineries to accept the light crude from the Eagle Ford. Compact distillation towers to partially refine condensates are in the works in a few states as well.
All of these developments, and the construction and operations jobs they create, can be attributed to the new shale oil drilling. More at NYTimes.com