The Stand

Feel the power: LIUNA 242 organizers train for the future

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The following is from LIUNA Local 242:

DES MOINES, Wash. (Feb. 1, 2019) — This week the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) held a five-day strategic organizing training for more than 50 employees at Laborers’ Local 242. This training will set the stage for future campaigns that will fight for workers’ rights across Washington state.

LIUNA’s dedication to organizing meant using all workforce resources for the men and women who traveled in from throughout the state. International staff and guest speakers covered strategic research and planning, relationship building, labor law, political training and communication. The trainees will apply this knowledge and fully represent laborer values in their communities.

“This group of diverse workers represents the face of LIUNA,” said Bob Abbott, vice president and Northwest regional manager of LIUNA. “Our goal with this training is to improve the lives of working people throughout the Northwest Region.”

Following the government shutdown and the 800,000 federal employees going without pay, this campaign symbolizes an act of solidarity. By educating members on union benefits and mobilizing to protect working values, LIUNA continues to stand in solidarity with public employee brothers and sisters.

“[These are] some of the best and brightest organizers I’ve had the pleasure to train,” said Steve Schwartz, director of organizing of LIUNA. “This group represents a force in the labor movement that’s going to change lives in the coming years.”

The Northwest Region is the largest geographical region in the Laborers’ International Union. We represent over 45,000 working people of many different ages and in many different occupations. For example, we represent workers in construction, hazardous waste remediation, health care, education, maintenance, food service, clerical, aviation, and state and local governments. This region has 23 local unions, five district councils, and 13 dedicated training facilities that offer training topics ranging from short duration job site health and safety classes to intense full-fledged, hands-on skills training. Mobile onsite training, which delivers training to contractors’ facilities or construction job sites, is another aspect that our region has developed to meet our employers’ manpower and training needs.

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