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Labourers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) International Vice-President Joe Mancinelli and National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) met in Vancouver on June 6, 2017 to sign a pact affirming LIUNA’s commitment to First Nations rights and rebooting the union’s extensive package of training supports. This partnership recognizes LIUNA’s political, social and economic alignment with Canada’s indigenous peoples and provides a formal framework for the continuation of training programs that were launched when LIUNA and then AFN National Chief Phil Fontaine signed a similar agreement in 2007.

“The century-old struggles of the indigenous communities across Canada have for hundreds of years sought to be treated as equal and LIUNA strongly believes that together we can build a strong partnership with an emphasis on training and education, as youth are the future builders of our growing economy.” - Joe Mancinelli

Besides LIUNA training centres in every Province across Canada that often provide services to indigenous youth, including 12 campuses in Ontario alone, LIUNA also has mobile units that take its trainers deep into the Canadian North and other remote locations to teach skills nearer to First Nations communities.

Joe Mancinelli and Chief Phil Fontaine are now co-chairs of LIUNA’s National Indigenous Committee, and Larry Villeneuve, (of Metis heritage), serves as Indigenous Liaison For LiUNA Indigenous Affairs Department. An importance within LiUNA is being placed on “transferrable” skills, meaning skills that can be applied to other jobs when one project is done, to other non-construction work and life situations, to other community members when workers return to their homes and as trainers through LIUNA’s ‘Train the Trainer’ program.

“With LIUNA, with the many different sectors that we train in, the beauty is that they are all transferable. So we are not just training in pipelines, we are training in industrial work, we are dealing with commercial sector work, civil, roadbuilding and so on. So whatever fits the community that we are close by.” Larry Villeneuve.

In the media:
LiUNA Local 1611 provides training to British Columbia Indigenous Communities read more.


Coronavirus Preparation and Response Fact Sheet - Updated March 20, 2020

The Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America has developed a fact sheet in response to several questions about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). CLICK here for the Coronavirus FACT SHEET. Last updated March 20, 2020

Coronavirus & COVID-19: Preparation and Response

First known as the novel coronavirus, the virus now referred to as COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the number of cases in the U.S. and Canada continues to rise. It’s now critical that everyone does their part to limit the spread of the virus, as people without symptoms or with mild symptoms can still spread the virus to others.

Risk in the U.S. and Canada

Current risk of contracting COVID-19 in the U.S. and Canada varies by community based on the extent of the outbreak and the success of mitigation efforts. About half the people diagnosed with COVID-19 have already recovered. It’s estimated over 80 percent of those infected will experience only mild symptoms.

However, even people at low risk for serious health complications should take steps to protect groups who would be at higher risk if they got the virus.

Risk for more serious health effects is highest among:

Older adults (age 60 and up)
People with underlying health conditions (e.g., heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer)
People with weakened immune systems
The majority of deaths caused by COVID-19 have occurred among people falling into at least one of these higher risk categories.

Transmission & Diagnosis

Transmission: spread primarily through airborne respiratory droplets during coughing and sneezing, but can also be spread through regular breathing. Being in close proximity (less than six feet) to an infected person, especially in enclosed spaces, can result in transmission. Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands, or touching an object with the virus on it, followed by touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands can spread the virus.

Diagnosis: If you suspect you have COVID-19, call your healthcare provider. A lab test may be performed and sent to the CDC.