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1961 – 1980

Leading the Way

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The union helps found the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department Safety Committee, and promotes a war on construction site cave-ins through intensive membership education and pushing protective legislation.

Northern California Laborers win pension benefits after a six-week strike, leading to pension benefits for thousands of Laborers through the West.


The union launches organizing efforts among public employees, winning an early success with Laredo Air Force Base workers. The mostly-Hispanic members strike in 1965 and later win a contract improving working conditions.

The union ends its tradition of neutrality in national elections, endorsing Lyndon Johnson for President and pledging strong support for his War on Poverty.


The union changes its name to “Laborers’ International Union of North America”


The Laborers Political League is established to strengthen Laborers’ voices in the political process and encourage member participation in politics and government.


Members support new training opportunities with paycheck deductions for training funds.

The National Association of Post Office Mail Handlers, representing Postal Service employees, and the Journeymen Stone Cutters Association, affiliate with the Laborers. Membership reaches 550,000.

Peter Fosco becomes General President


The Laborers Associated General Contractors Education and Training Fund is established to promote more training opportunities. The labor-management partnership is supported by funds negotiated in workers’ contracts and through federal grants. Regions will follow suit, establishing training funds to provide even more intensive and diverse training opportunities.


Intensive lobbying by Laborers and other unions results in creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.


The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement is organized to help Latino workers speak out; the first president is Ray Mendoza, a Laborer.