Established in June of 1945, the Ohio Laborers’ District Council was created to be an advocate on behalf of the 22 Local Unions throughout the state, our union contractors, and most importantly the 20,000 working men and women that call themselves Union Laborers. An eleven-member Executive Board comprised of Business Managers from throughout the state oversee operations of this multi-faceted organization. Five employees including a Chief of Staff, Marketing Director, and three Field Representatives offer support and management for daily operations under the direction of Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer, Ralph Cole. With over 120 years of combined experience, we at the District Council work hard to meet the needs of Ohio Union Laborers.
Keeping Union Laborers working is a top priority at the District Council, and we protect our members and our jurisdiction in a number of ways. We police and enforce the terms of our collective bargaining agreements through the grievance process, implement responsible contracting and competitive bidding, work closely with elected officials that support our members and our causes, and look to the future to ensure our members maintain high paying jobs with excellent benefits and training within the ever changing construction industry.
Politics is a dirty word to many, but the hard truth is a lot of politicians out there are working against us. As a result, the District Council has worked tirelessly to develop relationships with federal, state, and local elected officials on both sides of aisle, who we work very closely with on issues that directly impact our members – like work zone safety, unemployment, job creation, right-to-work, and prevailing wage. Because of those relationships, we have been able to fight attacks on our wages, benefits, right to organize, and unemployment benefits. It is a testament to the relationships that we have built that as states around us, one by one, have gone Right-to-Work, we have been able to stave off nearly annual attacks on our Union jobs and maintain our status as one of the few remaining non right-to-work states in the country.
Click HERE for a list of politicians who have our back.
When an employer is found to be in violation of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the District Council works together with Local Union leadership on behalf of our members. The outcomes may vary, but you better believe the leadership is fighting tooth and nail on your behalf. Listen to this month’s podcast and hear from Field Rep Adrian Harrison about grievances and more.
The future is bright for Ohio Laborers. As our industry continues to adapt to the changing world around us, so do the Laborers. Over the past several years we have not only maintained our jurisdiction, but we have expanded our market share. In 2019, the District Council and Local 83 in Portsmouth, Ohio worked with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and implement Construction Industrial Hygienist Respiratory Technician Training (commonly referred to as Rad Techs) through our Training Center. So not only do we build power plants, but we also now have the skills and proper training to decommission those same power plants.
Though some may not like it, renewable energy is the wave of the future, and the District Council, along with our Local Unions, are working to make sure the work is done Union. We are working closely with the International and renewable energy companies to ensure Laborers’ work, on both wind and solar farms, is being done by Union Laborers.
At the end of the day, it is our job at the District Council to ensure our members have quality, high paying, safe jobs with the best benefits offered and the most comprehensive training. And, THAT, is what we strive to achieve everyday from this office.
Being a Laborer is demanding work and can be incredibly hard on one’s body. To ensure Ohio Laborers have long and storied careers, the District Council along with LIUNA Healthy & Safety and Ohio Laborers Training are investing in our members futures by partnering with ASTM’s Center of Excellence to develop the industry standards and be the leading construction craft to implement the use of the exoskeletons on our jobs sites.
Ralph E. Cole (Local 83)– Business Manager/Secretary Treasurer
Robert E. Richardson (Local 265) – President
Anthony Liberatore, Jr. (Local 860) – Vice President
Clint Powell (Local 809) – Sergeant-at- Arms
John Eddleblute (Local 639) – Executive Board Member
Terry Joyce (Local 310) – Executive board Member
Bob McCaskill (Local 423) – Executive Board Member
Bill Orr (Local 894) – Executive Board Member
Gary Bretz (Local 574) – Auditor
Rocky DiGennaro (Local 125) – Auditor
David Fleetwood (Local 500) – Auditor