Laborers International Union of North America
Laborers International Union of North America
905 16th Street, Northwest
Washington, DC 20006
Over 500,000 members
National Construction Alliance
The mission of LIUNA is implemented through 9 Regions and 1 Canadian Sub-region, 44 District Councils, and more than 425 Local Unions. Local Unions work together in District Councils, assisted by Regional offices.
At the International Union level, decisions are made by the General Executive Board, composed of the General President, the Secretary Treasurer and 14 International Vice-Presidents. Every 5 years the International Union holds a convention to set policies and to nominate candidates for the General Executive Board. Delegates to this convention are elected from all LIUNA local union affiliates and District Councils.
The International assigns a representative to assist local unions and District Councils on matters that affect and/or impact International policies or decisions.
The next level in the structure is the Regional Office. Regional Offices carry out the policies of the International Union, as well as provide direct services to the District Councils, Local Unions and individual members.
Each local union is represented at the District Council by delegates, in numbers apportioned by the size of the local. All delegates are elected to the District Council at the local union level by rank-and-file members.
Hazardous Waste Remediation
State And Municipal Government
The Postal Service
Terry O’ Sullivan, General President
Terry O’Sullivan has been General President of LIUNA since January 1, 2000. O’Sullivan has been an outspoken advocate for transportation policy O’Sullivan has been an outspoken advocate for transportation policy on Capital Hill and in the media.
O’Sullivan serves as a member of the Governing Board of Presidents of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO and a member of the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO. He serves on the Board of Directors for Working America, and is a member of the Management Committee of Americans for Transportation Mobility.
He is the former Chairman and CEO of ULLICO Inc., and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the insurance and financial services provider. In addition, O’Sullivan is a Board Member ex officio of La Fuente, the Chair Emeritus of the Bridge Builders and for the NCCMP (National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans). Before becoming LIUNA General President, O’Sullivan served the Union as a Vice President, Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager, and Assistant to the General President. He has also served as Administrator of the West Virginia Laborers’ Training Center.
O’Sullivan is a long-time, vocal supporter and activist for Sinn Fein to secure peace, justice and a united Ireland. He is Executive Vice President of D.C. Friends of Ireland and President of New York Friends of Ireland.
Armand E. Sabitoni, General Secretary-Treasurer
Sabitoni has led the union’s effort to strengthen Laborers training programs. Under his leadership, the union is instituting apprenticeship and training programs designed to advance Laborers’ careers and meet the needs of the industry.
Sabitoni helped found the union’s first construction charter school for high school students. The school teaches students about the construction industry and facilitates job opportunities upon graduation.
A member of Laborers’ Local 271, Providence, Rhode Island, Sabitoni worked as a construction laborer while attending the University of Rhode Island. He continued his studies at the New England School of Law in Boston, graduating in 1980.
Rising steadily through the ranks of LIUNA at the local, district council, and international levels, Sabitoni has held the positions of auditor, Vice President, and President of Local 271, Business Manager and Secretary-Treasurer of the Rhode Island Laborers’ District Council, LIUNA Vice President and New England Regional Manager, and Assistant to the General President.
Sabitoni became General Secretary-Treasurer on May 1, 2001. He continues to serve as New England Regional Manager, representing more than 60,000 members across the six New England states, as well as most of New York State.
Sabitoni chairs the national Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America, the national Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust Fund, the LIUNA Health and Welfare Fund, and the Service Contract Education of Training Trust Fund. He also chairs several additional national and regional funds dealing with labor-management cooperation, health and safety, pensions and investments.
When LIUNA was a member of the BlueGreen Alliance in 2009, Terry O’Sullivan said that “[LIUNA shares] a dream to build America so America works through an economy in which every worker who builds green can afford a hybrid car, and every worker who is struggling to keep their house warm can join the struggle against global warming.” LIUNA left the BlueGreen Alliance in January 2012.
The union reportedly separated from the group “in response to job-killing attacks on the Keystone XL pipeline by some of the alliance’s labor and environmentalist members.”
LIUNA’s support for the Keystone Pipeline and departure from the BGA mark a key policy shift for the union. O’Sullivan asserted that Keystone XL would not only build and strengthen America’s energy structure but also that the failure to launch the project would “destroy the lives of working men and women… We believe in protecting the planet, but we must also care about the people on it,” said O’Sullivan. “We believe green jobs must put green in workers’ pockets.” The implication is such that when green jobs aren’t available, LIUNA workers may turn to less clean jobs.
President O’Sullivan has avoided public discussion of global warming, and climate change is noticeably absent from the subject matter covered in LIUNA’s environmental remediation training. The Environmental Remediation Overview begins, “Never before has there been greater awareness of hazards that pose a threat to our health and environment. Nor has there been a greater need to minimize that risk and commit to undoing the damage already done.” Some courses even cover natural disaster relief, but climate change is ostensibly unmentioned.
Despite controversy over Keystone’s impact on the environment, LIUNA has participated in some noteworthy green initiatives. LIUNA negotiated a card check agreement with Conservation Services Group, a company which conducts nearly a half million home energy assessments annually for utilities and energy efficiency organizations nationwide, reaching more than 2 million homes in the last 25 years. Additionally, LIUNA was one of only a few unions in the U.S. to support science-based targets and timelines for carbon reduction at the 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen.
LIUNA also chartered a green local designed for workers specializing in weatherization and other green jobs. Green Jobs Local 58’s first round of recruits graduated from LIUNA’s training center this month and are earning $14 an hour with benefits. To fund the program, LIUNA joined forces with local environmentalists to pass the New York Green Jobs Financing Law that provides funding for residential weatherization work.
Noteably, LIUNA supports the expansion of solar, wind and geothermal power. However, LIUNA favors expansion of other energy resources, such as clean coal, natural gas and nuclear power as well. LIUNA strongly advocates for bringing oil home to the United States. At the 2009 Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference, President O’Sullivan expressed concern that not all green energy jobs are good jobs. He reported, ” other workers building components for non-union solar and wind power corporations do not earn enough to support their families, even though their employers receive millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies.” He also reported that a LIUNA commissioned survey of major wind and solar manufacturing plants showed that more than a fourth of those employers did not pay enough to support a family of two.”
In regards to methods of extraction, LIUNA officials recently declared that their members and their signatory contractors were “ready to supply energy owners with a safe, skilled, productive workforce to build the drill rigs, infrastructure, roads, and pipelines associated with hydraulic fracturing (otherwise known as fracking). The union framed the extractive procedure as an inevitable task that unionworkers should do because of their thorough skills training. The Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Trust site proclaims that “the question is no longer whether or not to develop these resources; as the communities profiled in these and other articles demonstrate, that decision has already been made. The question is whether these resources will be developed safely and responsibly. Laborers and their signatory contractors can help to ensure that they will.” LIUNA continues to create controversy as it waffles between pro-environment initiatives and policies unpopular to the green community.
Green Employment Prospects
LIUNA’s site points to residential weatherization as a new American industry that will reduce energy bills and help our environment while creating the good jobs that are desperately needed. From the site:
“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act invested $5 billion to expand the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program and meet the Obama Administration’s goal of weatherizing one million homes a year. This is a nearly 10-fold increase in the amount typically invested in weatherizing poorly insulated homes. There are 100 million energy inefficient homes in need of weatherization. Of those, 38 million homes are eligible for federal weatherization assistance.
The construction industry continues to experience depression level unemployment. An effort to weatherize 100 million inefficient homes will create more than 500,000 construction jobs and hundreds of thousands more jobs in manufacturing and related activities.
The growing demand for weatherization work is going to require a large industry, driven by trained, skilled workers who will do the work well and ensure that America’s weatherization investment is spent wisely. LIUNA is ready to meet that demand by training a skilled American weatherization workforce.”
Additional Comments and Analysis
It will be difficult to convince LIUNA to ignore the environmentally harmful construction job opportunities after their members’ dire employment drop during the recent economic crisis.
LIUNA would figuratively be shooting itself in the foot with its pro-Keystone and pro-fracking stance if its intentions ever were to reduce negative environmental impacts by positively transforming US energy systems. LIUNA cannot be congratulated for “its green jobs training program” if such training simply contributes to the safer construction of environmentally problematic projects.
Appendix 1: Executive Board Members
Vere O. Haynes became involved in organizing health care workers in the 1970s while working at a New England health care facility. When employees voted to affiliate with the Laborers, Haynes was elected business manager. Along with his International and Local Union responsibilities, Haynes plays a critical role in the Connecticut Laborers’ District Council. He has been Vice President at Large since 1985.
Mike Quevedo is business manager of the Southern California District Council of Laborers and serves as trustee of the Pension, Health and Welfare, Training and Retraining Trusts for Southern California. Quevedo began his career as a laborer in 1953. In 1969, he was elected to the executive board of Local 300 in Los Angeles and in 1978 was appointed business manager of the local. In 1980, he was elected president of the Southern California District Council of Laborers. In 1994, he became business manager of the Southern California District Council of Laborers and Vice President.
Terry Healy took his first job as a Construction Laborer in 1972. Healy became an International Auditor in 1983 and in 1985 was promoted to Assistant Regional Manager of what was then known as the Chicago Region. In 1993 he was named Regional Manager of the Great Lakes Region and in 1996 he was elected Vice President. In addition to serving as Great Lakes Regional Manager and Vice President, Healy was appointed to serve as Northwest Regional Manager in 2012. Healy is a member of Local Union 2 in Chicago. A training and job creation advocate, Healy is active in local community and civic organizations.
Raymond Pocino joined Local 172 in 1956 and has served in various leadership positions, helping to mold it into one of New Jersey’s most progressive and community-minded trade unions. Prior to his appointment as Eastern Region manager in 1995 and was elected Eastern Region Vice President in 1998. Pocino served four successive terms as president and business manager of the 3,500-member local. He also serves on numerous commissions and coalitions devoted to improving the economy and quality of life in his native state, including the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
Joseph S. Mancinelli has been Benefit Plan administrator since 1978, business manager and secretary-treasurer with Local Union 837. He is a trustee of Local 837’s Training Centre and Health and Welfare Plan. He serves as director of 34 West Avenue, Inc. and the LIUNA (Hamilton) Association. Mancinelli graduated from the Harvard University Trade Union Program and has attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and McMaster University in Hamilton. Mancinelli was elected Vice President of the Central and Eastern Canada Region in 1999 and also serves as Regional Manager.
Rocco Davis came to International headquarters to serve in the General President’s Office in 1999, and was named Chief of Staff in 2000. He was elected Vice President in 2001, and named Special Assistant to the General President and Vice President at Large in 2005. Davis has also served as a field representative for the Center for Contract Compliance, as regional coordinator for the National Heavy-Highway Committee and as a Tri-Fund field coordinator.
Vincent Masino began his career as a laborer in 1970 with Local 1033, working nights painting crosswalks and striping streets, and as a traffic counter in Rhode Island. He continued his employment with the state Traffic Division until 1972 when he became a Field Auditor responsible for auditing all affiliated locals in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Masino was named assistant regional manager in 1999 and elected Vice President in 2001. He also serves as an Executive Board member of the Rhode Island Laborers’ District Council and a public member of the Rhode Island State Planning Commission.
Dennis Martire a member of Laborers’ Local 1058, has over 13 years with the Laborers including service as an international representative, assistant director of the Construction Department, director of the Construction Department and assistant regional manager in the Mid-Atlantic Region. His focus in the region has been on helping new members organize. He was elected Vice President and named Regional Manager in 2002.
Robert Richardson has served as business manager of Local 265 in Cincinnati since 1982. He serves as president of the Cincinnati Central Labor Council, president of the Ohio District Council and first vice president of the Ohio State Building Trades. Richardson has been a Laborer for more than three decades and is a longtime civil rights activist, serving as president of the Cincinnati Chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, an Executive Committee member of the Cincinnati NAACP and vice president of the LIUNA African American Caucus. He was named Vice President in 2005. In 2008, he became Vice President and Regional Manager of the Ohio Valley and Southern States.
Ralph Cole was elected Vice President at Large effective 2008. Cole began his LIUNA career as a construction laborer and member of Local 83 in Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1967. He served as Recording Secretary, Field Representative, Secretary-Treasurer and Business Manager of Local 83 until 2005 when he was elected Business Manager of the Ohio District Council, a position he continues to hold.
John Penn was elected Vice President and named Midwest Regional Manager in 2008. He joined LIUNA in 1965 and is a member of Local Union 362 in Bloomington, Illinois. Penn is currently Business Manager of the Great Plains District Council. Penn has been a member of the Illinois Department of Transportation Highway Safety Committee, has been McLean County Democratic Party Chairman since 1984, received a Presidential Points of Light Award from President Clinton and has been named Person of the Year by the Bloomington Pantagraph. He serves as Co-Chair of the Children’s Christmas Party for Unemployed Families. He is a past member of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board and is a past Vice President of the McLean County Economic Development Council.
John F. Hegarty became Vice President of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, a LIUNA affiliate, in 2002. He started as a mail handler in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1984. For the ten years prior to becoming national president, Hegarty was President of Local 301 in New England, the second largest local union affiliated with the Mail Handlers. He has also served as AVP for the General Mail Facility/Bulk Mail Center in Springfield, as a member of the union’s Field Negotiating Committee, as the Northeast Regional Coordinator under the Dispute Resolution Procedures for Regional Instruction RI-399, and as one of the national union’s key trainers for contract administration. He helped train hundreds of local union officers and representatives on crucial topics, including limits on hiring and use of casual employees, occupational safety and health, family and medical leave, and arbitration advocacy.
Oscar De La Torre, Business Manager of the Northern California District Council of Laborers, was appointed to the General Executive Board to fill the position of Vice President-at-Large in August 2010. De La Torre is a third-generation Laborer who first joined LIUNA in 1985 as a construction laborer and member of Local Union 261 in San Francisco. De La Torre served as Secretary-Treasurer and Business Manager of Local 261. In 2009, he was elected Business Manager of the Northern California District Council of Laborers. During his career, De La Torre has built strong coalitions with non-profit groups and currently serves on the board of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, the Mission Housing Development Corporation and the Instituto Laboral De La Raza. De La Torre also serves LIUNA through his work on the boards of the Northern California Laborers Pension Fund, the Northern California Laborers Health and Welfare Fund, and the Training & Retraining Fund and the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee.
Appendix 2: Regional Offices
|Construction Department||Greg Davis, Director||202-942-2335|
|Education Department||Kevin O’Sullivan, Director||202-942-2311|
|Information Technology Department||Matthew Richard, CIO||202-942-2243|
|Minority Advancement||Robert E. Richardson, Director||615-885-7196|
|Political and Legislative Department||Bevin Albertani, Director||202-942-2234|
|Strategic Communications||Richard Greer, Director||202-942-2246|
|Corporate Affairs||Richard Metcalf, Director||202-942-2269|
|Legal Department||Michael Bearse, General Counsel||202-942-2210|
|Organizing Department||Richard Metcalf, Director||202-942-2310|
|Public Employee Department||Danielle LeClair, Director||202-942-2367|
|Health, Welfare and Pension and Member Benefits||Madonna Brennan, Administrator||800-548-6242|
|Office of the Inspector General||John R. Billi, Inspector General||614-895-6970|
Appendix 3: LIUNA and Green Jobs
LIUNA is uniquely positioned to help build the energy systems, transportation systems and green buildings of tomorrow. With its green skills training, LIUNA is helping to transform our country’s energy systems and reduce negative environmental impacts.
A green economy is about both a healthier world and creating good family-supporting jobs to put people back to work. LIUNA is ready.
LIUNA provides the best adult continuing education system in the world with training in a variety of skills, including green construction – and it’s free.
Many skills required for green construction are not new – for example, building concrete pads for wind farms or rail for mass transit. Other skills – such as identifying reusable materials on construction sites or aspects of weatherizing homes – are part of new LIUNA training programs. Due to neglect, transportation systems are in urgent need. Modernizing our transportation systems will save energy, reduce carbon emissions and put men and women back to work.
Traffic congestion costs commuters and businesses $170 billion a year due to 4 billion hours in delays, the DOT’s chief economist has determined. The cost is growing at twice the rate of the economy, placing a significant drag on competitiveness.
Motorists pay on average $710 every year for gas they waste due to traffic congestion, which also increases our reliance on foreign oil. Weatherizing homes, which account for 22 percent of America’s energy consumption, can free us from millions of barrels of foreign oil and create tens of thousands of jobs.
LIUNA trains workers in weatherization that substantially reduces a building’s energy use, putting people back to work in their communities and equipping them with skills for the future.
Every million homes weatherized supports 78,000 jobs and saves 3 million barrels of oil. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates a $1.53 return for each $1 invested in weatherization. LIUNA members are already at work building renewable energy systems. Stepping up construction of wind and solar power, and modernizing our electrical grid, would dramatically reduce carbon emissions and put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work.
Building wind power is not new to LIUNA. Since 2003, LIUNA has been working with contractors in 17 states to help build wind farms. In addition, LIUNA members are prepared to build solar farms and help modernize our inefficient and outdated electrical grid.
For every $1 billion invested in these green projects, 20,000 jobs are created, according to the Center for American Progress.