About Us

Our Union

LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – is a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build the United States and Canada. A half-million strong, we are united through collective bargaining agreements, which help us earn family-supporting pay, good benefits, and the opportunity for advancement and better lives.

LIUNA Eastern Region represents more than 40,000 members in Delaware, New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, and Puerto Rico.  We provide the skilled and productive workforce to thousands of top employers and are proud to not just build, but build better.

Our Members

A diverse, highly skilled, and versatile workforce and a politically and community-minded union–that’s how people describe LIUNA. And it all starts with our federally recognized apprenticeship program and independently accredited skills and safety training, a game-changing educational opportunity offered to LIUNA’s newest members—all at no cost to apprentices.

Construction is our primary industry but LIUNA also works in environmental remediation, education, manufacturing, sanitation, security, and the public sector. Outside of work, LIUNA members are just like everyone else. We live in your community, raise families, volunteer our time, pay bills, and everything else you would expect. By sticking together as unionists, LIUNA creates opportunities for a better work environment which leads to better lives for our members and their families.  By setting the standards for fair pay, benefits, and working conditions, LIUNA helps all workers.

Our Leadership

Mike Hellstrom, Jr. is LIUNA Vice President and Eastern Regional Manager, a position he assumed in November 2022. A second-generation Union Laborer, Hellstrom joined LIUNA in 1984 working at the craft for what is now Laborers Local 79 – New York City. He later served the local union as an organizer and helped implement some of the union’s largest and most successful campaigns. In 1998, Hellstrom was tapped to run Laborers Local 108 serving solid waste, scrap metal, and general industry workers in the Greater New York City Region.

Prior to his recent appointment as vice president and Eastern Region Manager, Hellstrom served as assistant to the business manager and then business manager of the 17,000-member Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York and Long Island (MTDC). Tireless in his approach and unwavering in his commitment to LIUNA, Mike Hellstrom believes unions are instrumental in setting and protecting workplace standards, developing the safe and productive workforce needed by employers, and strengthening communities through the creation of stable, middle-class careers in the industries LIUNA represents.

liuna history

The Beginning


Born of strife and struggle, LIUNA members have been uniting for better lives since 1836 when the first recognized Laborers union was established in Philadelphia. Hundreds of Laborers Local Unions existed across North America at the turn of the century but they were only admitted to the early AFL as "Federal Locals."

New Direction


The advent of the Great Depression in 1929 not only put tens of millions of Americans out of work, including tens of thousands of Laborers, it also drove wages downward. With so many people jobless and struggling to support their families, unions lost much of their leverage to negotiate wage increases.

war to prosperity


Some of the most critical ways the union helped members improve their lives was not just through their wages, but also through health insurance, pensions, disability coverage, and other benefits offering greater physical and financial security.

Leading the Way


In 1962, LIUNA helped found the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department Safety Committee, and launched an effort to stop construction site cave-ins through intensive membership education and pushing protective legislation.

Improving Health & Safety


In the late 80’s and early 90’s many LIUNA regions implemented training programs to further improve the skills and safety of members.

In 1981, New York LIUNA Locals added drug and alcohol rehabilitation to their welfare programs.

Over a Century


In the 21st century LIUNA has led the way for trade unions in its commitment to growth and member activism.

In 2001, delegates elected Terry O'Sullivan General President and Armand E. Sabitoni General Secretary-Treasurer. In 2006 and again in 2011 and 2016, delegates re-elected both to office.

LIUNA spearheaded the opening of its first construction charter school for high school students in 2003. The New England Laborers'/Cranston Public Schools Construction and Career Academy teaches students about the construction industry, opens the door to job opportunities upon graduation, and has won praise from the community and the construction industry.