I am a 52-year member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local Union 450 in Houston, Texas. I joined the IUOE at age 20 as an equipment oiler for my four years of informal apprenticeship training. I then advanced to heavy equipment operator in the construction industry for the next 30-years before becoming a union organizer then business representative for the local, to apprenticeship coordinator and president of IUOE Local 450. I retired in 2015 and currently work as a part-time consultant for the IUOE Local 450 Apprenticeship. For most of the 52-years my family of eight enjoyed having the benefit of union health insurance and good wages and my wife and myself are enjoying our retirements that for the most part is afforded by my union pension. Being a union family has given us a security and a dignity that most non-union families never realized as being possible. I AM PRIVILEGED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS.