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1981 – 2000

Improving Health & Safety

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1981

Laborers begin offering training in asbestos abatement, and within three years begin full hazardous waste removal training.

1985

Laborers are in the National spotlight as a documentary about Laborer stone cutters at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., wins an Academy Awards Oscar.

1988

The first of its kind in the union movement, the Laborers Health and Safety Fund is established to protect the health and safety of laborers.

Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund launches a new program to train members for hazardous waste removal, training at least 2,500 at six sites in the first year. The fund also launches a literacy program for members.

1989

The union creates the Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust, which, with the union’s health & safety fund and training fund, will come to be known as the LIUNA Tri-Funds. The fund, also known as LECET, aims to increase market opportunities for union contractors and Laborers.

1993

Arthur A. Coia becomes General President

1994

Recognizing of the high skill level required to perform to various jobs in the Laborer craft, the U.S. Labor Department certifies construction craft laborer as an apprenticeable occupation.

Laborers complete the reconstruction of Interstate 10 in Los Angeles in record time following a devastating earthquake.

1995

The Laborers launch VOICE — Volunteer Organizer in Community Empowerment — to mobilize rank and file members to help in organizing campaigns.

1996

More than 2,000 asbestos workers and 1,500 demolition workers, struggling for safer jobsites and family-supporting pay and benefits, organize with the Laborers’ Mason Tenders in New York City. The landmark campaign helps union workers capture 75 percent of the interior demolition market in New York.

1997

The Midwest Regional Organizing Fund is created and quickly helps more than 4,000 members join the Laborers. The Eastern Region Organizing Fund is created, and starts with a base of 3,100 volunteer member organizers.

1998

The Public Employee Department is created and successfully helps 5,200 workers with Riverside County, California, organize a union.

1999

The Laborers form the National Retirees’ Council to mobilize members after their working career ends and to benefit from their knowledge, skill and energy in organizing, political action and grassroots lobbying.

2000

Terrence M. O’Sullivan becomes General President