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Message from the Co-Chairmen: Labor Unions Bring Stability During Uncertain Times

Members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) aren’t immune from worrying about the economy. When the cost of gas, groceries and rent goes up, we pay more just like everyone else. However, a booming construction industry and an enormous demand for skilled labor are giving LIUNA Local Unions, signatory contractors and members the peace of mind – and the consistent work hours – to weather the storm.

As the first stages of a decade’s worth of infrastructure projects get underway, LIUNA members are seeing firsthand that there’s plenty of work to go around. Most importantly, they’re seeing that hard work provide strong wages and health benefits at a time when many other parts of the economy are facing uncertainty. So as millions of workers look for ways to replace their very real day-to-day concerns with a more stable future, they should consider all the benefits of a career in construction as a LIUNA member.

LIUNA and other unions are seeing signs of long-term stability away from the jobsite as well. The Biden administration’s recent decision to include support for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in the American Rescue Plan will protect the retirement benefits of almost 11 million retirees and union workers across the country. For those workers, knowing they can continue to count on the benefits they rightfully earned through years of hard work to support them throughout retirement is invaluable.

Elsewhere at the federal level, the Biden administration recently nominated Jessica Looman – a proud LIUNA member from the state of Minnesota – to oversee the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. This is a key position in an agency tasked with upholding fair labor standards and ensuring that all workers are paid their fair share. With her appointment, LIUNA will have another strong ally in the fight to protect worker health and safety for years to come.

At the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA), we strive to bring LIUNA members certainty too – certainty that they’ll have a safe workplace when they show up to work and an employer that has all the necessary tools to protect their health. So far in 2022, the construction industry has seen a rapid rise in deadly trench collapses, an entirely preventable hazard that’s almost always caused by a desire to get the job done quickly instead of safely. Given enough time, an unprotected trench will collapse; we must all work to make sure LIUNA members are never inside when that happens. Every Local Union and signatory contractor should be sending the message that no matter the task, getting the job done safely is what matters.

Away from the jobsite, suicide and other mental health issues continue to take an especially hard toll on construction workers. Across the U.S. and Canada, LIUNA District Councils, Local Unions, signatory contractors and affiliates are taking action to provide the education and resources required to end the stigma around mental health issues and get workers help when they need it. No one should have to fight alone, and being a LIUNA member means you don’t have to. That’s another certainty of being part of the LIUNA family.

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