Photo: Joseph Mancinelli (*), center, with LIUNA Local 183 executive led by Jack Oliveira
By Leila Monteiro Lins | Portal DISCOVER
LiUNA Local 183, the largest construction local union in North America, surpassed its 50,000th member this week, almost doubling its size in the past five years.
Founded in 1952, LiUNA represents workers from every aspect of the construction industry, and their families, in the Greater Toronto Area. In 2011, a new Executive Board lead by Business Manager Jack Oliveira, was elected that made it a priority to organize the unorganized, in an effort to best support its overarching mandate of being the strongest construction union in the Province.
“When our Executive Board took over in 2011, we knew that we could only be as strong as our membership base,” said Jack Oliveira, Business Manager for LiUNA Local 183. “That’s why we set a goal to reach 50,000 members to ensure as many construction workers and labourers in the GTA had fair wages and safe working environments. Many people thought this was an unattainable goal. We knew better and through a tireless commitment to organizing, we not only reached our target, we exceeded it.”
Exceeding targets is a common theme at the organization which regularly works with employers as well as the Municipal, Provincial and Federal Governments to achieve better regulation and strong policing of work sites. With this growth, Local 183 will continue to provide best in class pensions and benefits for its members and retirees.
“Our membership is our top priority and this accomplishment is a result of the tireless dedication of our staff who represent the interests of those members every day. Without such incredible teamwork, we would not have been able to reach our target,” added Oliveira. “We believe in our vision and we know there is strength in numbers. People see the value of our union and they want to be a part it. Today, we are over 50,000 but by 2020 we will be in excess of 55,000!”
LiUNA Local 183 represents workers in all aspects of the construction industry including residential, sewer and watermain, bridge building, road construction, pipelines, railroads and utilities sector. In addition, LiUNA Local 183 represents healthcare, sanitation, and industrial workers across the GTA.
(*) Joseph Mancinelli – Vice President and Regional Manager for the Central and Eastern Canada area of the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA)