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Message from the Co-Chairmen: Recruiting and Protecting the Next Generation of LIUNA Members

The Laborers’ International Union of North American (LIUNA) is committed to expanding the ranks of LIUNA’s membership to meet the workforce needs of project owners and signatory contractors building critical projects across the U.S. and Canada. To achieve that goal, LIUNA General President Brent Booker and General Secretary-Treasurer Michael F. Sabitoni set an ambitious vision of growing LIUNA to one million members strong.

Thanks to the Biden’s administration’s move to modernize the Davis Bacon Act, construction workers across the country will soon see stronger wages and workforce protections on thousands of projects, including those stemming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. In New York State, a new bill signed by Governor Hochul will also ensure construction workers are paid strong prevailing wages on utility projects.

The Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA) knows that health and safety is central to recruiting and protecting the next generation of LIUNA members, especially as it relates to health benefits, supporting mental health and well-being and creating a sense of belonging at work.

Besides better pay and safer working conditions, one of the major benefits of being a LIUNA member is strong health benefits. The benefits made possible by LIUNA’s health and welfare funds match or beat anything else available in the industry. These benefits provide affordable access to medical care when workers and their dependents need it most. The Fund is here to make sure that members understand their benefits and how to use them.

Across the construction industry and across LIUNA, more and more conversations are happening around protecting members’ mental health. Construction has the highest suicide rate of any industry. Yet, LIUNA has the tools and the support network to connect members and their families with resources that can help, whether it be for a mental health crisis, substance use disorder or another behavioral health issue. We can send the message to current and future members that LIUNA cares about their well-being, has the tools to help and is willing to fight alongside them.

A major aspect of supporting members’ well-being and making them feel healthy and safe at work is making all members feel welcome on the job. LIUNA is an organization where all workers can thrive, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or any other factor. Over 90 percent of workers say a sense of belonging is an important part of deciding whether to stay at their current job. Making members feel valued and appreciated, feel like they are part of a team and feel like part of the LIUNA family can help create that sense of belonging.

LIUNA, its affiliates and its signatory partners are well-positioned to win lucrative, long-term projects that will put members to work for years to come. The LHSFNA is ready to assist LIUNA’s District Councils, Locals Unions, signatory contractors and affiliates in protecting today’s members and using safety and health to show the value of LIUNA to new workers across North America.

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