LEROF Organizing Campaign: A Resounding Success Story
In 1997, LIUNA Vice President and Eastern Regional Manager Raymond
M. Pocino founded the Laborers' Eastern Region Organizing Fund (LEROF).
Dedicated to helping workers form and join the Laborers Union, the
LEROF team is committed to the protection and advancement of worker's
rights and has engaged in some of the nation's most successful union
strength lies in its idea that unions work both for employees
and employers. The power of LEROF rests in the skills and talents
of members who actively participate in organizing campaigns the
30 full-time organizers and the thousands of member volunteers (link
to VOICE Training page) who give there time and energy in support
of Laborers' International Union of North America and workers everywhere.
The statewide organizing campaign being undertaken by the Laborers
Eastern Regional Organizing Fund (LEROF) in New Jersey has so far
resulted in the signing of 32 asbestos removal contractors to collective
bargaining agreements since March 1st.
The ongoing campaign has doubled Laborers Local 1030's membership
roles from 250 to 500 and has enabled the North Bergen local
which specializes in asbestos removal to capture more than
35% of the New Jersey market in only six months time.
Johnson said the growth of Local 1030, whose members are also engaged
in the campaign, has been so rapid that it has opened satellite
offices in Paterson and Cherry Hill to service its statewide jurisdiction.
The Jamesburg-based NJ Building Laborers Training & Apprentice
Program has also opened training facilities in North Bergen and
Paterson to teach asbestos removal and safety skills to the burgeoning
Training classes are being presented by bilingual instructors in
Spanish, Polish, Yugoslav and English to meet the needs of the various
immigrant populations that currently makeup a large percentage of
asbestos removal workers.
LIUNA Vice President and Eastern Region Manager Raymond M. Pocino
noted that LEROF and Local 1030 organizers have been working closely
with community and church groups, building support for the organizing
campaign. With assistance from the Alliance for Competitive Contracting,
they are also notifying local officials and agencies about contractors
who are violating prevailing wage laws, or have a history of safety
"We are changing the face of this
industry in New Jersey, adding new members, creating new job opportunities
and making our union a force to be reckoned with,"
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