Operating Engineers


Website:  www.iuoe-17.com

Business Manager:  Gary Swain Year Chartered: 1900
President & Business Representative: 

Bill Fekete

Local Membership:  1,736
Business Representative:  Eliot Jimerson

Job Description

Operate, maintain and repair various kinds of heavy equipment such as bulldozers, loaders, graders, rollers compactors, track and wheel type excavators, track and tower cranes, concrete curb and gutter machines, pile drivers, booms, tractors, etc.

Engineers use these and other kinds of equipment in the building of roads, bridges, and buildings and hazardous material remediation. Union members perform site preparation, including tree and stump removal, stripping of vegetation and overgrowth and the removal of topsoil and grading of land areas. They also perform excavation work for lying of water and sewer lines and for building foundations.

Work Scope

Operate, maintain and repair heavy construction equipment, such as cranes, backhoes, bulldozers, graders and scrapers, in contractor yards and repair shops. Local #17 also has a materials remedial division, which features a 400 plus member work force. In addition, Local #17 represents 550 stationary engineers and maintenance workers employed at a variety of locations throughout Erie County.

Major Projects Associated With

  • The Buffalo-Niagara International Airport
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Downtown Buffalo Sports/Hockey Arena
  • The ECC/Burt Flickinger Athletic Center
  • Buffalo Rapid Transit System
  • New York State Thruway Authority
  • Ashland (FUSRAP) Site
  • Various Expansion Projects

Union Message

“The area’s unions, including Local #17 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, play a major role in the effort to improve the quality of life throughout Western New York. As a proud member of the Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council, we are all committed to that goal.”

Community and Charitable Involvement

  • Town of Hamburg Beach Clean-up
  • Seneca Nation of Indians Fire Station – removal and replacement of fire siren
  • Erie County Sheriff’s Department – Town of Alden Shooting Range
  • Erie County Sheriff’s Department transported ammunition magazine from Springville to Buffalo-Niagara Airport
  • Habitat for Humanity – backfill footers of homes, grade yards, set roof trusses
  • Boy Scouts Camp Shoellkopff – construct earthen dam and roadways
  • Lakeshore Volunteer Fire Company – baseball diamond
  • Valley Community Association – leveled fields for Leddy Park
  • Centaur Stride Inc. – cleared and graded fields for therapeutic riding stables

Union Slogan

“The International Union of Operating Engineers…Working Together to Improve the Quality of Life in Western New York”

Apprentice Information

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