IUOE Local 942

Prince Edward Island’s chapter of the International Union of Operating Engineers

Construction of the Confederation Bridge


PEI Health Coalition

Prince Edward Island Building Trades Council


IUOE History

In 1896, eleven members of small independent unions for construction and stationary workers met in Chicago to form the National Union of Steam Engineers of America. These workers had in common the ability to operate the dangerous steam boilers that powered construction equipment of this time.

IUOE’s logo pays tribute to these early steam engineers by featuring a steam gauge, pointing to 420psi.

Canadian workers joined in 1897, and the union’s name was changed to the International Union of Steam Engineers.

As the union grew in size and scope, and as the construction industry moved away from steam-driven equipment, the union’s name again changed. In 1928, it was renamed the International Union of Operating Engineers (“IUOE”).


The International Union of Operating Engineers first began holding meetings on PEI in 1955. IUOE Local 721, based in Nova Scotia, established a permanent presence on PEI on April 1, 1963 and certified Island-based bargaining units in the construction industry later that year. The PEI branch of Local 721 signed its first collective agreement in July of 1963.

In 1974, approximately 200 PEI hospital employees in a wide variety of administrative, clerical, technical and professional positions formed the General Hospital Employees Association (“GHEA”). These employees were not already covered by the existing collective agreements for nurses and service workers. They concluded their first collective agreement in 1975.

In 1978, the GHEA entered into a service contract with IUOE Local 721 to make use of a professional negotiator. On October 1, 1980, the GHEA was issued a charter by IUOE and became IUOE Local 942. The PEI branch of Local 721 soon followed suit, acquiring its own charter and becoming Local 902 on March 3, 1981.

The two PEI IUOE Locals worked closely together over the years, sharing resources and office space. On November 1, 2007, the two locals merged to become IUOE Local 942.

Today, Local 942 has a diverse base of some of the most crucial workers in the province. We represent over 1000 front-line Health PEI workers in wide-ranging classifications. We have provincial jurisdiction for all Stationary and Hoisting and Portable work under the IUOE Constitution. We manage and defend workers’ rights under more than ten collective agreements. We have established a respected identity within the PEI’s labour movement and the IUOE International office.

Local 942 has been built by the time and talents of volunteers who care about the lives of their colleagues and PEI workers. A small selection who played particularly key roles are Blair McKinnon, Gerri Mitchell, Ethel Murphy, Lee White, Sheila Robinson Morag Harper, Tammy Chaisson, Jim MacDonald, Lisa Ferguson, all of whom served as Local President, and Gail Ling, who holds the record as the longest serving officer of the Local.

An article from The Guardian from August 9, 1963