Laborers’ International Union of North America
The Labourers International Union of North America was chartered on April 13, 1903. The driving force behind the organization was the poor treatment of immigrant workers in Canada and the United States. At the time racial inequality was an accepted business practice, many new immigrants were arriving everyday from Europe and Asia. The economic climate around the world was in turmoil. The first Canadian local Union was chartered in 1919.
The labour situation was oppressive for the average working class person, this was never more evident than in the construction industry. The attitude of the day was that the life of a labourer was of little consequence, and the death of a worker was even less tragic than the loss of a piece of equipment.
Once the organization took form many labourers got involved, since that time the changes within the construction industry have revolutionized the way in which people work, and the way in which the employer interacts with the labour force. Unions have throughout our history strived for respect, fair treatment and economic prosperity for their local Union members. Much of the standards of living which all Canadians enjoy is owed in large to the pioneers and visionaries of the labour movement.
About Local 837
LiUNA Local 837 was first chartered on June 18, 1950, today the local represents 4,000 workers in the Hamilton-Niagara Region. Included are 750 members in the Industrial Sector (cleaners, caretakers, factory workers, food processors and security Employees).
LiUNA Local 837 is proud of its forefathers that have brought Local 837 to the position that it is in today, in particular Enrico Henry Mancinelli. Henry took his first job as a timekeeper with Frid Construction and became a member of LiUNA Local 837. In 1959 he was invited to join the fledgling labourers’ union staff, along with Antonino (Tony) La Macchia, Saverio (Sam) DeLuca, Lorenzo (Larry) Curto, Nick Scibetta, and Pasquale Zavarella, where he organized and brought thousands of immigrants into organized labour. Eventually he became Business Manager for the local and became instrumental in starting up the first Labourers Pension Plan in 1971.
Over the years LiUNA Local 837 has become well-known throughout the community, not only for our tenacity as we have ventured into non-traditional roles and have embraced a wide array of opportunities including non-profit-housing initiatives, banquet and conference centres, and long-term care facilities; creating employment opportunities for our membership and training grounds for our trainees.