Teamsters Joint Council No. 25 is joining fellow Union Officials from across the country that are mourning the sad loss of a Titan in the Field of Organized Labor, former International Union of Operating Engineers President and Business Manager Mr. William E. “Bill” Dugan, who passed away late last week at the age of 86. Mr. Dugan was a proud member of the IUOE for fifty-three years and served as its President and Business Manager for nearly twenty years.
Over the years, Dugan built great relationships with other Chicagoland labor unions. Teamsters Joint Council 25 President Terrence J. Hancock said Bill Dugan was a great friend to the Teamsters and all working people, and will be remembered as a loyal friend and professional colleague who always made time for anyone who requested his assistance. Bill was a skilled negotiator who was feared at the bargaining table. He was stern man with a heart of gold!
Operating Engineers Local 150 has compiled and provided a short list of Dugan’s impact on Organized Labor and his numerous accomplishments as a stellar leader of IUOE Local 150:
Bill Dugan joined the Union in 1955 after returning from three tours in Korea as a US Army Airborne paratrooper. He served as a Business agent under Bill Martin from 1965 through 1984, when he left the union staff to run for President Business Manager in 1986. Recognizing the need to organize the unorganized, Bill created the Local 150 organizing department, and convinced the union’s membership to establish an administrative dues structure to fund it. He hired Jim Sweeney as the first organizer. After a brief strike in 1987, Dugan presided over a long period of labor stability in Chicago area construction. He helped negotiate significant wage and benefit increases in Heavy Highway and Building Agreements which lasted until 2010. A lifelong Republican, then Governor Jim Thompson appointed Dugan to the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. There Bill secured the first significant multi-project labor agreement in Illinois, guaranteeing all Tollway construction work would be performed by union contractors. Dugan was an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He served on the Executive Board of the Chicago Federation of Labor and as a General Vice President of the International Union of Operating Engineers. In 2002, Dugan brought the Union’s legal work in house, establishing the Local 150 Legal Department. In 2004, Dugan again convinced the membership to increase union dues obligations in order to build the Wilmington Training Center. Opened in 2007, the site was later named for him after he retired in 2008.
Services were held for Mr. Dugan at IUOE Union Hall in Countryside on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Robert J. Sheehy & Sons Funeral Homes.