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James T. Callahan

General President, International Union of Operating Engineers


James T. Callahan serves on Ullico Inc.’s Board of Directors. He is the General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers, a diversified trade union that represents over 400,000 operating engineers working as heavy equipment operators, mechanics and surveyors in the construction industry, and stationary engineers, who work in operations and maintenance in building and industrial complexes. IUOE also represents nurses and other health industry workers, public employees in a wide variety of occupations, and a number of job classifications in the petrochemical industry.

He was re-elected to a second term as General President at the 39th General Convention on May 6, 2018.

Callahan, a 41-year member and third generation operating engineer, moved up the union’s ranks from member to Shop Steward, Foreman, Trustee, and Business Representative to ultimately lead Local 15 in New York City as its 4th President and Business Manager in 2003.

Callahan began his career as an operating engineer in 1980. Proficient in all mechanical aspects of maintenance and repair, he was initiated as a shop mechanic in Local 15C. By 1993, he had worked his way up to maintenance foreman and was an integral part of the team that worked on the World Trade Center site in the aftermath of the terrorist bombing of the parking garage that killed and injured dozens of people.

Eight years later, as a local union Business Agent, Callahan found himself back at the World Trade Center. This time, he was one of the many Operating Engineers who responded immediately to the World Trade Center attack on September 11th and staying on to work through the entire recovery effort at Ground Zero.

Callahan was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Board in March 2012 and also serves on the AFL-CIO Executive Committee. He is also a member of the Governing Board of Presidents for North America’s Building Trades Unions.