The largest construction local union in North America
LIUNA Local 183
Founded in 1952 by our first member, Brother Gerry Gallagher, LIUNA Local 183’s mandate was to insure the safety of workers toiling for the Provincial Hydro Commission. With little more than 400 members in their first year, LIUNA Local 183 has grown to now represent more than 58,000 construction workers and their families in the Greater Toronto Area. Our members work in every aspect of the construction industry including; residential, sewer and watermain, road construction, bridge building, pipeline, railroads and utilities to name a few. We have helped make this strong province the vibrant and beautiful place that we all call home.
Toronto and by extension LIUNA Local 183 is more ethnically diverse now than ever before and we are much stronger for it. Like the Cultural Mosaic that Toronto has become internationally known for, LIUNA Local 183 gains strength from each new member from any ethnic community which allows us to grow in industries that are sometimes specific to one ethnic community. Specifically, the construction industry has traditionally relied heavily on immigrants for labour and LIUNA Local 183 has a long history of welcoming and protecting immigrant workers. With each new wave of immigration, the make up of our membership has changed.
Safety for all workers is a prime concern of LIUNA Local 183. We are very active in the promotion of safe work practices in the construction industry. We do this through our lobbying efforts both at the Provincial and Federal Government levels. We strive for better regulation and stronger policing of work sites.
Through participation in health and safety committees and safety training we can ensure that our members, the lifeblood of our organization, will remain healthy and working to build better communities for all of us.
Training is one of LIUNA Local 183’s great strengths. Our members receive the most up to date and comprehensive training with a focus on the skills that are in the most demand. Thanks to our parent organization, LIUNA, there is now a registered apprenticeship program for the noble profession of the Construction Labourer.
The Construction Craft Worker will now take his/her place beside Plumbers and Electricians as true trades people within the Construction Industry. We, the Labourers’, like the immigrants that we have welcomed and represented since our beginnings in 1952, will be legitimized and recognized for our contributions to the Construction Industry and society at large.
We know the value of hard work and we work hard on behalf of construction workers. Like the many members we represent who toil in adverse environments and under severe circumstances, we take the needs and wants of our membership very seriously. In fact, our members enjoy premium wage rates and benefit packages that are second to none in the Construction Industry.
Our pension plan, The Labourer’s Pension Plan of Central and Eastern Canada, soundly returns on the investment of the labourer throughout their working life so that they can enjoy a fruitful and comfortable retirement. Our benefits package is the best, not just in the Construction Industry, but throughout organized labour.
The comprehensive coverage comprising major medical, dental, and prescription drugs has been supplemented by innovative benefits enhancements that recognize the contributions of the undocumented individuals providing much needed coverage for those that are routinely ignored. We wholly believe that we have to give back to the individuals who work so hard to build what we enjoy each day.
We recognize the need to grow, as strength in numbers always prevails. We employ substantial resources to expand both our membership and our jurisdiction with the intent of continuing our growth trend that has seen LIUNA Local 183 attain our significant status.
LIUNA Local 183 supports and sponsors many charities, fund raising initiatives and social events throughout the year. Many are representative of an ethnic group who comprise a strong base within LIUNA Local 183. Our goal is to maintain a constant view on, and participation in, each community so that LIUNA Local 183 is better able serve the specific needs of each group.
Laborers’ International Union of North America
The history of LIUNA is the history of America and Canada. Born out of the struggle for better lives and fair, safe working conditions,
the union formed in 1903, grew quickly, and then suffered during the Great Depression when wages plummeted. Out of this hardship
came legislation designed to protect workers and help the economy recover.
The laws passed in the 1930s are still crucial to the fight for labor rights today—they established prevailing wages, set minimum standards for working conditions, and enforced collective bargaining rights.
During World War II, LIUNA members worked and sacrificed for war efforts, suspending dues and pledging support to the National Defense Program. After the war, the union helped negotiate fair contracts and safe working conditions for the infrastructure projects that helped form the U.S. and Canada, including the international highway system, dams, and pipelines.
In the 1960s, LIUNA fought to end racial discrimination within unions, and members marched proudly beside Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1965, the union changed its name from The Hod Carriers and Building Laborers’ Union to LIUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) to reflect the tremendous growth and diversity of its membership.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, LIUNA increased training, safety, and services for members.
After more than 100 years of fighting for workers and forging the highways, buildings and public services that shape American and Canada today, LIUNA is 500,000 members strong and continues its fierce commitment
to improving the lives of workers.
Together, LIUNA members wield their collective power to lead workers, employers, and policy makers in America and Canada
toward growth for the new century and beyond.