Menu

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield

Building Trades

Is NYC Too Soft On Abusive Contractors?

August 28, 2015
By Joe Maniscalco

Bad actors are disbarred - but are they disciplined?

New York, NY - The Comptroller’s Office says that the number of construction companies barred from doing business with the city has risen significantly over the last two years — at the same time, worker advocates insist that wage theft and other workplace abuses have run rampant throughout town. So, how effective is disbarment as a tool for policing crooked developers and contractors? 

Beleaguered Steelworkers Rally in Minnesota Iron Range

August 28, 2015
By Steve Wishnis and Neal Tepel

With contracts about to expire for taconite-mine workers in Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, more than 1,000 people rallied Aug. 20 in the small town of Virginia. Negotiations between the United Steelworkers and U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal, and Cliffs Natural Resources are underway in a year when 1,500 workers have been laid off, and prices for iron ore and steel have been plummeting.

Meet IUOE Local 14's Very Own 'First Lady'

August 26, 2015
By Joe Maniscalco

Evet Stephens.

Brooklyn, NY - The last thing Evet Stephen’s parents wanted for their daughter back in 1987 was for her to become an operating engineer. But that’s exactly what the former National Guard member did, becoming IUOE Local 14-14B’s first African-American female member after leaving the military and completing the union’s rigorous four-and-a-half year Apprenticeship Program. Just don’t call Stephens a trailblazer or pioneer — the Local 14 Fund trustee and KIDS Committee chair doesn’t consider herself that way.

Men Of Iron, Hearts Of Gold: Swing Set Is A Special Gift To Kids

August 17, 2015
By Joe Maniscalco

Amanda Dinnigan enjoying the wheelchair swing.

New York, NY - The ironworkers of Local 361 build and maintain some of the most spectacular structures in the city, but none more impressive or heartfelt than the one that originated inside one member’s modest Smithtown garage. 

AFL-CIO: Strong Social Security Program Essential

August 17, 2015
By AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka


Washington, DC - Happy Birthday Social Security. On August 14th, the 80th anniversary of Social Security, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made the following statement: For those working for a better life, Social Security is an important family income and disability protection program and the cornerstone of our retirement security.

Decorated War Vet Finds New Life As An Iron Worker

August 13, 2105
By Joe Maniscalco

Rob LeFurgy with General David Petraeus.

New York, NY - Four years ago, Local 361 apprentice Rob LeFurgy wasn’t even sure what an iron worker did. All the decorated Iraqi war veteran knew for certain was that he sorely missed the brotherhood and sense of higher purpose he had known serving in the U.S. Army. Becoming an ironworker, however, has gone a long way to satisfying those intense feelings of longing and restoring the 28-year-old Oakdale, Long Island resident’s hope in a brighter future. 

Chicago Stagehands Protest Nonunion Work at Lollapalooza

August 12, 2015
By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel


Members of United Steelworkers Local 17U in Chicago staged a week of demonstrations outside Grant Park in late July, protesting the Lollapalooza music festival’s use of nonunion temp workers to set up the stage and sound system. The job normally would have employed 25 members for at least several weeks, said Local 17U President Anthony DeGrado—a significant amount in an industry where workers rely on big events like Lollapalooza for much of their annual income.

50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

August 10, 2015
By LIUNA President Terry O’Sullivan


Washington, DC - The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)  remembers the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. We remember and honor all those who marched, fought, and even laid down their lives to secure and safeguard the voting rights of all Americans. 

Additional information