The Laborers' International Union of North America is one of the most progressive and strongest unions in the country. Over 500,000 strong, LIUNA is the eighth largest labor organization in America, representing a skilled and diverse workforce. Laborers are construction workers, government workers, health care providers, industrial employees, service workers, and educators.
During this week, we honor our members who work in housekeeping and environmental services in hotels, hospitals and other facilities. These employees work hard to keep working and living spaces clean, safe and healthy. In hotels, this includes cleaning guest rooms after each guest checks out, and keeping common areas tidy. This work provides a more enjoyable guest experience and work space for hotel employees.
In addition, good housekeeping staff is especially important in hospitals, where a clean and sanitary environment can reduce the risk of infection or complications for patients and other hospital workers, and create a more positive experience for patients and their families.
Laborers’ Local 177, in Des Moines, IA, is extending a helping hand and a “thank you” to military Veterans who want to become Laborers, by waiving their initiation fees to join the union.
Laborers’ Local 110, in St. Louis, MO, recently came together to socialize and give back to the community. The Local has held a picnic and food drive at Grant’s Farm for several years, and this year more than 1100 members and family members attended and donated a total of $3698.00 and 3,224 pounds of food to be distributed to food banks in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, which recently has been experiencing tough times.
Many Bloomington-Normal area Laborers joined Illinois Governor Pat Quinn at their union hall Thursday, August 14 as he announced that the state's unemployment rate had dropped to 6.8% for the month of July, down from 9.2% a year earlier in July 2013. LiUNA! Vice President and Midwest Regional Manager John F. Penn introduced the governor to the crowd at the press conference. Gov. Quinn spoke about the importance of quality construction and manufacturing jobs in Illinois. To read more about the event, click here.
President Obama just signed into law the bill that allows veterans to seek private care outside VA facilities, and provides money for the VA to hire more doctors and nurses. This effort came after reports that some veterans had waited months to get care from the VA. To read more about the legislation, click here.
This week, members of Congress acted on two big issues for Veterans. The Senate confirmed former Proctor & Gamble executive Robert McDonald as Secretary of the Veterans' Administration, replacing Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson, who took over after Eric Shinseki resigned in May.
In addition, Congress reached a last-minute deal on funding for the VA. Part of the plan will allow Veterans who live more than 40 miles away from a VA medical facility or have had a wait time of more than 30 days for an appointment to see a private doctor, which will be paid for by the government.
Follow our Laborers' Midwest Region Military Veterans Facebook page for Veterans' news and updates!
The US Senate yesterday passed a slightly different version of Highway Trust Fund “patch” than the House did two weeks ago. The patch involves using federal (non-gas tax) revenue to make up for what the gas tax did not bring in over the last two years.
This week, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law an additional $1.1 billion for road and bridge improvements for Fiscal Year 2015 (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015). That brings the statewide program for the fiscal year up to $2.9 billion. IDOT has now incorporated those state projects into their FY 2015 project list to create a comprehensive list, which can be viewed here.
Retired Laboer Curt Ralston, a member of Local 751 in Kankakee, IL, recently received the Illinois AFL-CIO Robert G. Gibson Community Service Award for his work restoring the Kankakee River.
In May 2014, 30 Laborers who had served in the armed forces between 1950 and 1953 and their guests toured historical sites, national monuments and LiUNA! International Headquarters in Washington, D.C.