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Recent Victories

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 organizing campaigns.

LIUNA's 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 membership.

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 violations.

"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," Pocino stated.

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