Two years after making its first stab at rejoining organized labor, the Laborers International Union of North America is completing the reunion by returning to the AFL-CIO. The union, which bolted in 2006 to form an independent alliance with two other building trades, had reaffiliated with the umbrella group’s Building and Construction Trades Dept. in 2008.
The union rejoins the AFL-CIO after departing four years ago over a bitter dispute about the umbrella organization’s focus on political rather than grassroots organizing. The AFL-CIO re-affiliation becomes effective on Oct. 1. The laborers have shed 300,000 members in recent years amid the recession and construction unemployment, which reached in 17.5% in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic reports.