Labor Union

Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)

LIUNA logo (link)
Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

53-0088501

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $82,528,810
Expenses: $76,126,900
Assets: $202,480,658

Formerly:

International Carriers and Building Laborers’ Union

Formation:

1903

The Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) is a construction industry labor union and a member the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). LIUNA is has provided extensive campaign support and lobbying efforts on issues such as Obamacare, immigration, and infrastructure spending.[1]

LIUNA has a membership of over 500,000 workers in the construction industry, and is widely considered to be one of the more powerful labor unions in the United States.[2]

History

LIUNA (originally the International Carriers and Building Laborers’ Union) was formed in 1903 as a labor union following calls by the president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) to unite construction workers and laborers from local unions across the United States.[3]

Structure

LIUNA is composed of over 400 local unions that serve over 500,000 members. They also have 44 district councils and 9 regional offices with one Canadian sub-regional office and the international headquarters in Washington, D.C.[4]

Each union must adhere to LIUNA’s constitution, which can be amended at the International Union General Convention that occurs every five years. During this convention, the executive board is also elected.[5]

Political Support and Contributions

In 2015, LIUNA criticized President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, a departure from the official stance of the AFL-CIO and many of the federation’s other member labor unions. LIUNA president Terry O’Sullivan claimed that with his decision, President Obama had “thrown the members of LIUNA and other hardworking, blue-collar workers under the bus.”[6]

In November 2015, LIUNA announced its support of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.[7] During the 2015-2016 election cycle, LIUNA-affiliated political action committees financially supported Democratic Party candidates such as Clinton and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California).The group also donated $1 million to the left-wing Super PAC Priorities USA Action.[8]

In 2018, the LIUNA Chicago District Council PAC gave $250,000 to the reelection campaign of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D).[9]

Since 1990, LIUNA political committees have contributed $103,661,923 to federal candidates, with the substantial majority of contributions to partisan entities going to Democrats.[10]

Lobbying Positions

Instructure Spending

In recent history, LIUNA has heavily lobbied Congress to increase infrastructure spending. In 2010, LIUNA launched a media campaign to encourage increased infrastructure spending through the use of billboards near areas with potential for job creation.[11]

In 2014, LIUNA joined the Rally for Roads in offering support for the Highway Trust Fund.[12] It also launched a media campaign to lobby Congress to pass a long-term, full-investment highway bill.[13]

In late 2017, Terry O’Sullivan and Sean McGarvey, the president of North America’s Building Trade Unions, called on President Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to create an infrastructure program that would increase jobs. LIUNA also worked with a lobbying group through the Transportation Construction Coalition to increase pressure on Congress.[14]

Opposition to “Right to Work” Legislation

LIUNA opposes “right to work” legislation which would allow employees of unionized companies who dissent from union activities not to pay the union.[15]

Immigration

LIUNA advocates for a relatively liberal immigration policy but opposes guest worker programs. The union has endorsed a path to citizenship for currently illegal immigrants.[16]

Healthcare

LIUNA has argued that the current structure of Obamacare is insufficiently favorable to labor unions because of the cost burden it places on multi-employer insurance plans used by construction unions.[17]

Corruption

Arthur Coia, the former president of LIUNA, was subject to a three-year investigation by the Department of Justice on charges that he “associated with crime figures and acquiesced in their running parts of the union.”[18] Another defendant in this case was Armand Sabitoni, the current general secretary-treasurer of LIUNA. LIUNA eventually agreed to a settlement in 1994 which required extensive changes within the union but allowed Coia to retain his position as general president.[19] However, speculation surrounding the settlement suggested potential Clinton administration involvement due to Coia’s personal ties with the Clinton family.[20][21]

Coia would later plead guilty to charges stemming from Coia failing to pay state and local taxes on three Ferrari cars, including an F40 model supercar. Coia misrepresented the cities in which he registered the vehicles, fraudulently indicated lower vehicle values, and used an illegal titling scheme to defraud the state of Rhode Island.[22]

People

Terry O’Sullivan

Terry O’Sullivan has served as the general president of LIUNA since 2000. During his time as general president, O’Sullivan has increased the political power of LIUNA through an increased focus on voter registration, member activism, and fundraising.[23]

O’Sullivan also serves as a member of the governing board of presidents of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO. He is also a member of the board of directors for Ullico Inc., an insurance and financial services firm associated with the labor union movement. Additionally, O’Sullivan serves on the board of directors for America’s Agenda: Health Care for All and as a member of the management committee of Americans for Transportation Mobility.[24]

Prior to his election as general president, O’Sullivan served as LIUNA’s vice president, Mid-Atlantic regional manager, and assistant to the general president. He joined LIUNA in 1974.

O’Sullivan is an open supporter of Sinn Fein, the controversial left-wing Irish republican political party with historical ties to the now-demilitarized terrorist group Provisional Irish Republican Army.[25] In addition to shepherding LIUNA funds to U.S.-based Sinn Fein front organizations,[26] O’Sullivan serves as both the executive vice president of D.C. Friends of Ireland and the president of New York Friends of Ireland.[27][28]

O’Sullivan received total disbursements of $772,105 in salary and expenses from LIUNA in 2017.[29]

Armand Sabitoni

Armand Sabitoni has served as the general secretary treasurer for LIUNA since 2001. Sabitoni chairs the national Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA), the national Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust Fund (LECET), the LIUNA Health and Welfare Fund, and the Serve Contract Education of Training Trust Fund (SCETT).[30]

Sabitoni also serves as the New England regional manager for LIUNA, after replacing Arthur Coia in 1993. In 1994, Sabitoni was “a defendant in the U.S. [Department] of Justice’s draft racketeering complaint against LIUNA.”[31]

Sabitoni received total disbursements of $628,116 in salary and expenses from LIUNA in 2017.[32]

Board Members

The LIUNA general executive board includes the following members:[33]

  • Armand Sabitoni—general secretary-treasurer
  • Raymond Pocino—vice president
  • Vicent Masino—vice president
  • Dennis Martire—vice president
  • Joseph Macinelli—vice president
  • Oscar De La Torrie—vice president
  • Rocco Davis—vice president
  • John Penn—vice president
  • Ralph Cole—vice president
  • Robert Abbott—vice president
  • Samuel Slaten—vice president
  • Robert Richardson—vice president
  • Lisa Martin—assistant director of strategic communications
  • Terry Healy—vice president
  • Sergio Rascon—vice president
  • Paul Hogrogian—vice president
  • Edward Smith—former vice president
  • Joseph Uehlein—former member

Funding

Revenues

In addition to dues from its members, the Euguene M. Clary Foundation donated $19,000 to LIUNA between 2010 and 2014.[34]

Grant Recipients

LIUNA made grants to the following organizations in 2017:[35]

References

  1. “Issues.” Laborers’ International Union of North America. Accessed July 12, 2018. http://www.liuna.org/issues. ^
  2. “LIUNA Structure.” Laborers’ International Union of North America. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.liuna.org/liuna-structure ^
  3. “LIUNA History: 1903 – 1920.” Home – Laborers’ International Union of North America. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.liuna.org/history-1. ^
  4. “LIUNA Structure.” Laborers’ International Union of North America. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.liuna.org/liuna-structure. ^
  5. “LIUNA Structure.” Laborers’ International Union of North America. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.liuna.org/liuna-structure. ^
  6. Cama, Timothy. “Union: Obama Threw Workers ‘under the Bus’ in Keystone Decision.” TheHill. November 06 2015. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/259395-union-obama-threw-workers-under-the-bus. ^
  7. “Clinton Snags Another Big Union Endorsement.” Fox News. November 24, 2015. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/11/24/clinton-snags-another-big-union-endorsement.html ^
  8. “Browse Disbursements: Laborers’ International Union of North America.” FEC.gov. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.fec.gov/data/disbursements/?two_year_transaction_period=2016&data_type=processed&committee_id=C00007922&min_date=01/01/2015&max_date=12/31/2016. ^
  9. Ruthhart, Bill. “Emanuel Flexes Fundraising Muscle with $1.7 Million Deposited in a Single Day.” The Chicago Tribune. April 21, 2018. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-mayor-rahm-emanuel-campaign-fundraising-20180420-story.html. ^
  10. “Laborers Union: Total Contributions.” Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/totals.php?id=D000000074&cycle=2018. ^
  11. Dresser, Michael. “Laborers Rally for Infrastructure Jobs.” The Baltimore Sun. April 28, 2016. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.baltimoresun.com/bs-mtblog-2010-08-laborers_rally_for_infrastruct-story.html. ^
  12. “‘Rally for Roads’ Presses Congress to Save the Highway Trust Fund, Establish Long-Term Transportation Bill.” For Construction Pros. June 12, 2014. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.forconstructionpros.com/asphalt/news/11519520/rally-for-roads-presses-congress-to-save-the-highway-trust-fund-establish-longterm-transportation-bill. ^
  13. “PHOTOS: LIUNA Launches Campaign to Urge Congress to Pass Long-term Highway Bill.” Equipment World. May 13, 2014. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.equipmentworld.com/photos-liuna-launches-campaign-to-urge-congress-to-pass-long-term-highway-bill/. ^
  14. Lopez, Luciana. “Business, Unions Ramp up Campaign for U.S. Infrastructure Spending.” Reuters. February 28, 2017. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-infrastructure-lobbying/business-unions-ramp-up-campaign-for-u-s-infrastructure-spending-idUSKBN1672IW. ^
  15. “So Called Right to Work.” Home – Laborers’ International Union of North America. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.liuna.org/rtw. ^
  16. “Immigration.” Home – Laborers’ International Union of North America. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.liuna.org/immigration. ^
  17. “Affordable Care Act.” Home – Laborers’ International Union of North America. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.liuna.org/affordable-care-act. ^
  18. Greenhouse, Steven. “Corruption Tests Labor While It Recruits.” The New York Times. January 03, 1999. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/1999/01/03/us/corruption-tests-labor-while-it-recruits.html. ^
  19. [1] Stevenson, Richard W. “Justice Dept. Defends Corrupt-Union Accord.” The New York Times. July 26, 1996. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/1996/07/26/us/justice-dept-defends-corrupt-union-accord.html. ^
  20. Stevenson, Richard W. “Justice Dept. Defends Corrupt-Union Accord.” The New York Times. July 26, 1996. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/1996/07/26/us/justice-dept-defends-corrupt-union-accord.html. ^
  21. “Who Is Arthur Coia?” The Wall Street Journal. July 24, 1996. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB83816282965482000. ^
  22. Greenhouse, Steven. “Ex-Union Leader to Admit Fraud in Taxes on Ferraris.” The New York Times. January 28, 2000. Accessed July 12, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2000/01/28/us/ex-union-leader-to-admit-fraud-in-taxes-on-ferraris.html. ^
  23. “Arena Profile: Terry O’Sullivan.” Politico. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.politico.com/arena/bio/terry_osullivan.html.] ^
  24. “Arena Profile: Terry O’Sullivan.” Politico. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.politico.com/arena/bio/terry_osullivan.html. ^
  25. Carswell, Simon. “American Letter: Union Leader Uses 1916 Speech to Attack Trump.” The Irish Times. March 12, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2018. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/american-letter-union-leader-uses-1916-speech-to-attack-trump-1.2569703. ^
  26. Carswell, Simon. “American Letter: Union Leader Uses 1916 Speech to Attack Trump.” The Irish Times. March 12, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2018. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/us/american-letter-union-leader-uses-1916-speech-to-attack-trump-1.2569703. ^
  27. “Arena Profile: Terry O’Sullivan.” Politico. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.politico.com/arena/bio/terry_osullivan.html. ^
  28. “General President.” Laborers’ International Union of North America. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.liuna.org/general-president. ^
  29. Laborers (Department of Labor file number 000-131), Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2017, Schedule 11 ^
  30. “Armand E. Sabitoni.” Laborers’ International Union of North America. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://www.liuna.org/armand-e-sabitoni. ^
  31. Nelson, Michael. “Coia Crony, Sabitoni, New #2 at LIUNA.” National Legal & Policy Center. January 08, 2001. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://nlpc.org/2001/01/08/coia-crony-sabitoni-new-2-liuna/. ^
  32. Laborers (Department of Labor file number 000-131), Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2017, Schedule 11 ^
  33. “General Executive Board.” Home – Laborers’ International Union of North America. Accessed July 11, 2018. http://www.liuna.org/general-executive-board. ^
  34. “Grant Visualizer: Laborers International.” Foundation Search. Accessed July 9, 2018. www.foundationsearch.com. ^
  35. “UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: LIUNA Grants.” Online Public Disclosure Room U.S. Department of Labor. Accessed July 11, 2018. https://olms.dol-esa.gov/olpdr/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Robert Richardson
    Vice President
  2. Joseph B. Uehlein
    Former Member
  3. Matt Traldi
    Former Secretary-Treasurer (2009-2010)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 1940

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $82,528,810 $76,126,900 $202,480,658 $504,226 N $0 $81,338,565 $1,886,642 $10,276,467
    2015 Dec Form 990 $83,017,596 $71,024,978 $191,731,012 $1,200,399 N $0 $79,560,242 $2,057,321 $9,641,878 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $73,013,602 $72,666,688 $179,121,289 $101,290 N $0 $78,820,603 $2,003,711 $9,181,337 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $89,961,605 $71,983,252 $172,931,584 $726,974 N $0 $77,786,483 $2,474,221 $9,432,259 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $79,410,509 $72,926,494 $151,528,999 $1,088,664 N $0 $75,408,284 $2,582,234 $8,951,779 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $77,866,059 $80,939,078 $136,785,734 $191,900 N $0 $73,186,224 $3,962,533 $9,126,033 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)

    905 16TH STREET NW
    WASHINGTON, DC 20006-1703