Chartered in 1953, the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 1059 represents workers in London, Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, Huron, Perth, Grey and Bruce counties. Working for more than 240 different employers, our 3,000 members include over 2,100 construction and 880 maintenance, light manufacturing and security employees. Our non-construction members play a vital role in maintaining LIUNA Local 1059’s presence within the community.
Profile of an Average Member
The income of our construction members ranges from $50,000 to $100,000 per year.
The average number of hours worked by each member every year is approximately 1,600.
The average age of our construction members is 42.
The average amount our construction members have saved in the Local 1059 Benefit Plan dollar bank is $15,800.
The Labourers’ International Union of North America: Building stronger communities and Futures
Workers across Canada enjoy many benefits and standards on the job every day, including minimum wage, set working hours, breaks, health and safety regulations and overtime pay.
Many of these benefits and standards are shaped by the labour movement. According to StatsCan, an estimated 4.3 million people—or almost one-third of all workers in Canada—are union members.
The Labourers’ International Union of North America, or LIUNA, is just one of many unions operating in Canada. LIUNA is a diverse organization that represents 90,000 members in Ontario and more than half a million members across North America.
History of LIUNA
LIUNA was founded on April 13, 1903, after Samuel Gompers, the President of the American Federation of Labour, sent out a request to all independent unions asking them to unite into an international union of construction labourers. This united group of unions has become what we know as LIUNA.
LIUNA was initially called the International Hod Carriers and Common Labourers’ Union of America. It was named after the hod: a tray or trough with a pole handle that is used to shoulder loads of materials such as mortar or brick on a construction site.
In 1965, the union took on its current name, and became the Labourers’ International Union of North America.
LIUNA in Southwestern Ontario: Local 1059
In Southwestern Ontario, many LIUNA members are represented by Local 1059. Local 1059 was chartered in 1953, and represents 3,500 construction workers, industrial/service workers, janitors, housekeeping and road maintenance workers employed both in and beyond Grey, Bruce, Middlesex, Oxford, Huron, Elgin and Perth counties.
Local 1059 represents its members by negotiating collective agreements with Employers for conditions of employment, including workplace safety requirements, fair wages, overtime, and pension and benefits. The Local also refers construction members to employers for exclusive employment.
How does Local 1059 work?
Local 1059 is run by a democratically-elected seven-person executive board, which is responsible for making sure that the Local meets the needs and wishes of its members, keeping them safe, properly trained and employable, and providing them with fair wages, benefit coverage and job opportunities.
The Local recruits new members by reaching out to non-union workers to tell them about the benefits, rewards and opportunities that union membership with Local 1059 provides, and encourage them to join. Non-union workers may also organize themselves in their workplace, exercising their right to be represented by a union.
Local 1059 provides its members with numerous benefits, including health and pension coverage, skills and safety training, and job security.
The Local is proud to offer full optical coverage to its members and their dependants at the Local 1059 Optical Centre, where members receive comprehensive coverage with no up-front or out-of-pocket costs. This helps ensure that members’ eyes are protected at work, or that their children can properly learn in school.
In addition to optical coverage, the Local provides major medical benefits, including prescription drug, dental, hearing aid, chiropractic, smoking cessation and fertility coverage, so that members and their families can take charge of their health.
For construction members, pensions are administered through the Labourers’ Pension Fund of Eastern and Central Canada. This fund is a multi-employer pension fund, where every signatory employer within Ontario contributes to the same plan. In 2017, Benefits Canada ranked this pension fund fifth among the top 10 fastest-growing pension funds in Canada, with $6 billion in assets. Extensive pension coverage gives Labourers the confidence of a financially secure retirement and helps them build a stronger future for themselves and their families.
Skills and safety training
Local 1059 members and apprentices have access to the Local’s London-based 32,000 square-foot training facility where industry-leading instructors deliver dozens of skills training courses and 18 safety certification courses, keeping members smart, skilled, safe, and above all, employable.
A 2015 study from the province of Ontario shows that unionized workers, specifically unionized construction workers, including Labourers, are less likely to be injured on the job than their non-unionized counterparts.
However, skills and safety training doesn’t just benefit Local 1059 members; it also benefits the Local’s employers. With proper training facilitated by LIUNA, employers have access to a pool of workers who are skilled and prepared to work safely the moment they step on a job site.
Security clauses, which apply to all Local 1059 Labourers, help keep them employed on safe and secure job sites. For construction members, the clauses require Employers to exclusively hire members for work covered in the Local’s work or skill jurisdiction. If a member is out of work, he or she is put on the Local’s regionalized job lists and is matched with an Employer in their community based on their skill set.
In the Community
Beyond providing specific benefits for its members, Local 1059 improves working conditions for all workers and gives back to the communities in which it operates.
Local 1059 helps all workers by lobbying the government to improve labour legislation. The Local was active in seeking and obtaining important changes for all workers in Ontario under Bill 148—the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, including an increased minimum wage, increased entitlement for protected leaves such as family medical leave, parental and pregnancy leave and critical illness leave, and the recognition of Family Day as a statutory holiday.
LIUNA believes in providing benefits and standards to build stronger futures for working people, as well as building stronger communities. Local 1059 supports the communities in which its members live and work in a variety of ways:
- Volunteer work and gifts in kind. Local 1059 members give back to their communities by volunteering their time and skills to a variety of community projects. Some of these projects include working on the Westover Treatment Centre in Thamesville, re-paving the St. John’s Ambulance Parking lot in London, re-building the Stevenson Children’s Camp and renovating the offices at United Way Elgin-Middlesex.
- Sponsorships and fundraisers. In 2017, Local 1059 held its 17th annual charity golf tournament in support of United Way Elgin-Middlesex. The tournament raised $113,810, bringing the total amount raised for United Way to $1.2 million since the Local started hosting the tournaments in 2001.
Contributions and donations. In London and the surrounding area, Local 1059 is proud to financially sponsor and support:
- St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation
- ONERUN, in support of cancer care programs
- London Lightning
- The Sebastian’s Superheroes cancer research gala
- The London Abused Women’s Centre
- The Addiction Services of Thames Valley Foundation
- The Century 21 Golden Gala, in support of Easter Seals
- The Rankin Cancer Run
- Westover Treatment Centre
In the Grey-Bruce area, Local 1059 is proud to sponsor and support:
- The zamboni at the Julie McArthur Regional Recreation Centre
- The marquee sign at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre
- The Springfest 55+ Games
- The City of Owen Sound’s summer programs
- The Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular
- The Meaford Salmon Trout Derby
- The ball diamond at the Wiarton District Community Centre and Arena
- Feature races and advertising at Sauble Speedway
LIUNA Local 1059 is committed to building stronger communities—not just by working on infrastructure and buildings, but by providing members and all workers with more opportunities as well as benefits and standards for a better work-life balance, so they can enjoy and contribute to the communities in which they work and live.
Our executive board demonstrates a mix of both the old guard and our younger membership and reflects the geographic and cultural makeup of our membership.
(Executive Board Member)
(Executive Board Member)
Representatives are assigned to each specific construction or maintenance sector. They are responsible for construction job referrals to employers in specific construction sectors. They also deal with organizing, grievances, negotiations and employment issues.
Assistant Business Manager & President
LIUNA Local 1059 support staff assists in the day-to-day administration and activities of the union.
Administration & Finance
Social Services & Benefits
Communication Specialist & Trillium Advisor
Our team at the regional training centre is dedicated to all aspects of construction industry training and education, including apprenticeships and safety certification.
Training Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructor and Curriculum Development