The Laborers' International Union of North America
(LiUNA!) has a long history of working to improve
the quality of life for its members and their
families. In fact, the union has been proudly
serving their members for over 100 years.
In 1903, Samuel Gompers, first President of the
American Federation of Labor, challenged laborers
across the country to coordinate and consolidate
their activities into one cohesive unit, not only
for the sake of their members, but the labor
movement as well.
In answer to Gompers' call, 25 delegates from 17
cities representing more than 8,000 laborers met in
Washington, D.C. on April 13, 1903. After four days
of meetings they formed the International Hod
Carriers' and Building Laborers' Union of America.
By the late 1920s, a boom in construction caused the
membership rolls to approach 100,000. During this
period, three amalgamations added to the union's
size: the International Compressed Air and
Foundation Workers Union; the Tunnel and Subway
Constructors International Union; and the
International Union of Pavers, Rammermen, Flag
Layers, Bridge and Curb Setters and Sheet Asphalt
After suffering through a declining membership
during the Depression, the union rallied in support
of World War II efforts. Membership reached 430,000
In 1955, the International Union affiliated with the
AFL-CIO Industrial Union Department in order to
effectively represent the 60,000 laborers working
under the jurisdiction of the IUD. After the
post-war industrial boom, LIUNA began organizing
In 1965, the union officially changed its name to
the Laborers' International Union of North America.
This change reflects the continual expansion of the
union beyond the construction field. The union
successfully organized municipal, state and
university employees and, in 1968, the 20,000-member
Mail Handlers Union joined the International. In the
1970s, Canadian membership in the International
increased to over 50,000.
Special thanks to
www.liuna.org for reproduction rights.
Click here to view a short video about LIUNA's past