We Are

LIUNA-the Laborers’ International Union of North America-is the most progressive, aggressive and fastest-growing union of construction workers, and one of the most significant unions representing public service employees. 

Working men and women who carry a LIUNA membership card live in every community across the U.S. and Canada and come from every part of the world. We work on highways and bridges, waterways and dams, in universities and in government. We build and weatherize houses, and make cities, counties, states and the federal government work. From pouring concrete to handling mail, from helping the sick heal to helping the young learn, we literally and figuratively build America and Canada. 

We are 500,000 proud people united through collective bargaining agreements which help us earn superior pay, better benefits and more opportunity.

In government, through the power of our members and allies, on jobsites, through our unity and the strength of our collective bargaining agreements, and in communities, through our activism, friends and families 

Everyone who works deserves 

  • a fair wage
  • health and safety protections
  • the right to safe working conditions
  • respect, and the freedom to join together in a union
  • access to health care and a dignified retirement

We owe it to the working people

  • to fight for collective bargaining rights
  • to defend family-supporting laws such as the U.S. Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Act
  • to build a modern infrastructure that keeps our countries competitive and creates good jobs
  • to strive for a sound pension system and national health care policy
  • to stand up for laws that acknowledge the contributions of immigrants
  • to make international trade fair

We fight to reward work

Being a member of LIUNA today honors a heritage that began in 1903 when courageous workers overcame hostility, threats and violence to join together.

We honor that heritage through our struggles today – being heard in government, raising standards for workers and employers on the job, and reaching out to a new generation of workers yearning for a better life. The rewards come in better pay, benefits and working condition, and in pride for adding the strength of each of our voices to something stronger.


Born of strife and struggle, LIUNA members have been uniting for better lives since 1836 when the first recognized Laborers union was established in Philadelphia. Hundreds of Laborers Local Unions existed across North America at the turn of the century but they were only admitted to the early AFL as “Federal Locals.”


The advent of the Great Depression in 1929 not only put tens of millions of Americans out of work, including tens of thousands of Laborers, it also drove wages downward. With so many people jobless and struggling to support their families, unions lost much of their leverage to negotiate wage increases.


Some of the most critical ways the union helped members improve their lives was not just through their wages, but also through health insurance, pensions, disability coverage, and other benefits offering greater physical and financial security.


In 1962, LIUNA helped found the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department Safety Committee, and launched an effort to stop construction site cave-ins through intensive membership education and pushing protective legislation.


In the late 80’s and early 90’s many LIUNA regions implemented training programs to further improve the skills and safety of members.

In 1981, New York LIUNA Locals added drug and alcohol rehabilitation to their welfare programs.


In the 21st century LIUNA has led the way for trade unions in its commitment to growth and member activism.

In 2001, delegates elected Terry O’Sullivan General President and Armand E. Sabitoni General Secretary-Treasurer. In 2006 and again in 2011 and 2016, delegates re-elected both to office.

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