Hello International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Brothers and Sisters,
As stated in my previous communication, besides our Master Labor Agreement and International Agreements, we have several Independent Agreements. Many of those Independent Agreements are “Fixed Units”. Schnitzer is one of those Agreements.
Schnitzer is a global leader in the collection, processing, and sale of the world’s most recycled product; steel. Local 612 members operate and maintain the Heavy Equipment used to process salvaged scrap metals from vehicles, home appliances, rail cars, industrial machinery, manufacturing scrap and construction and demolition materials for use by steel mills and foundries in new products.
Local 612 members do this with several pieces of Heavy Equipment. They use Komatsu loaders with fork attachments for unloading and stacking smashed cars as well to handle processed material that has been through the shredder. The most commonly operated Heavy Equipment at Schnitzer are the Sennebogen material handlers. One of the important tasks of a material handler operator is feeding the Mega Shredder. For excellent site overview and reaching down into cargo cans and rail cars, the material handlers are equipped with a hydraulic elevating cab. With multiple attachments (orange peel grab, sorting grab, magnet plate, scrap sheer) the material handlers are very versatile. When the material is too big or oversized, the operators use typical excavators with shear attachments to cut it down to size. These shears can cut with a force of 200t to over 1,000t. Also at Schnitzer is a 200 ton whirly crane on rail tracks. This is used for loading out processed material on ships and barges then sent all over the world. Finally, are the ones who keep the equipment maintained and repaired. The Heavy-Duty Mechanics. Processing salvaged scrap metals is cycle work, six to seven days a week and eight to twelve hours a day. That takes a toll on the equipment and keeps the mechanics busy.
That’s just a snapshot of Schnitzer Steel in the Port of Tacoma. Our hard-working members help make this site one of the highest producers by volume in processing salvaged scrap metals. The turnover at Schnitzer is very low with the majority of members having been here ten plus years and a couple members pushing thirty years!
Overall in District 1, Pierce County west of I-5, work is booming and hours are up. We have several contractors that worked right through the winter six days a week despite the record rainfall. The Port of Tacoma is seeing many new logistic centers tilt up in an answer to growth in shipping. The Port is also looking forward to HWY 167 finally tying into I-5 and WA-509.
All our strength is in union, all your danger is in discord.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Please be safe. Work smart, work hard!
Recording ~ Corresponding Secretary