Throughout the ten state area within the Central portion of the United States encompassed by the Midwest Region of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, retired LIUNA Members and Spouses offer an amazing variety of services, programs and activities to Retirees, their families, their Local Unions, and to their respective Communities.
From South Dakota to the Gulf of Mexico, in State Capitals, in Major Metropolitan areas and in rural communities, over 9,000 LIUNA Retirees, as well as their Spouses, have organized their combined efforts in 70 Retiree Councils affiliated with their respective Local Unions within this huge geographic section of America.
As LIUNA Retirees, and as a direct result of their continued Union Membership, these Retirees pay only a minimum monthly dues for said Membership from which $1.00 is contributed to a Region-wide Laborers’ Charitable Trust.
LIUNA Retirees are thereby entitled to continued health insurance, generous death benefits; regularly scheduled free health fairs which include in-depth health screenings for themselves and their families; and prescription drug discount cards for themselves and their extended families.
In addition, those former Members whose Membership has lapsed for whatever reason are also entitled to be re-initiated to Membership at no cost.
Each Retiree Council elects its own Officers and has regularly scheduled monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly Membership Meetings, most of which include Spouses, and nearly all of which include lunch or dinner for Members and Guests.
Most Retiree Councils host an annual Thanksgiving and/or Christmas Dinner for Members and Spouses, with many providing Christmas or Thanksgiving Food Baskets and various prize giveaways to participants.
Pin ceremonies are held at such events, with recognition provided to Members based upon years of Membership within LIUNA.
LIUNA wristwatches, jackets, caps and other such LIUNA Mementoes are also provided by respective Retiree Councils as a means of honoring and recognizing their Retirees.
Furthermore, each Retiree Council within LIUNA’s Midwest Region offers its own respective benefits, services, programs and activities to its Members, Spouses and Families, depending entirely upon the interests, initiatives and inclinations of its respective Membership.
These benefits, programs and activities include either Social, Educational, Political, and/or civic/volunteer services, and most include a combination of one or more or all of the above.
Social benefits, for example, might include attendance at Major or Minor League Baseball Games (St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, or Des Moines I-Cubs) NFL or Arena Football games; NBA, NHL or Minor League basketball or hockey games, or perhaps attendance at racetracks, casinos or dinner theaters.
Educational programs may feature speakers from various university, college or community college facilities; enrollment in generally non-credit specific interest college courses; specialists in retirement housing, Social Security, Medicare or the Affordable Care Act, or a representative from a State’s Attorney Generals’ Office warning against scams directed towards Senior Citizens.
Political activity on the part of Retirees, their spouses and Members of their families is strongly both urged and encouraged by LIUNA and each of its Retiree Councils.
Non-partisan in nature, this activity is directed towards candidates and legislation which support the economic interests of workers and their families, protecting Social Security, Medicare and other programs; for Retirees’ equality in the workplace and on the paycheck; enhancing public education, social justice and protecting civil rights.
At rallies advocating for progressive legislation or protecting the rights of working Americans, orange clad LIUNA Retirees are at such events to be seen and to be heard.
Throughout LIUNA’s Midwest Region, Members, Spouses, Families and supporters are continually engaged in an enormous variety and amount of Civic/Volunteer Work within their communities and in behalf of their fellow citizens.
From assisting victims of Hurricane Katrina and the recent, devastating tornadoes in Alabama, Missouri and Indiana; sponsoring and participating in Special Olympics events; to packaging Meals From the Heartland for distribution to impoverished third world countries, to serving in soup kitchens, food banks and homeless shelters, retired LIUNA Members, spouses and families are there wherever and whenever the need arises in every corner of the Midwest Region.
It is relevant to note that a number of Retiree Councils within LIUNA’s Midwest Region have formed partnerships and created coalitions with other progressive civic groups for political, legislative and volunteer projects. Such groups include the Kansas City Chiefs Ambassadors and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.
Socially, Educationally, Politically and in service to our Members and our Communities, LIUNA Retirees, Spouses and Families are indeed proud of Who We Are.
No matter where or when the Voice of the American Worker Can and Must be heard, LIUNA Retirees, through their Retiree Councils, will be there to help raise that cry and to amplify their voice.
Five (5) primary reasons why LIUNA Retiree Councils are important would include:
Enabling Retirees to continue to have a voice in the affairs and direction of our Union, at the Local Union, District Council, Regional Office and International Union Levels.
Allowing Retirees to continue to share, with fellow Retirees, the companionship and brotherhood developed during their working careers.
Providing a mechanism to enable Retirees to continue to contribute to their Brothers and Sisters and fellow citizens.
Enabling Retirees and Spouses to stay active and productive, thereby contributing to their general health and well-being and sense of self-worth.
Enabling Retirees and Spouses to take advantage of the many and varied benefits offered by Retiree Councils, for example, in terms of health and life insurance.
For Spouses, Retiree Councils provide, perhaps for the first time, insight and awareness of the Union lives of their husbands, as well as the opportunity to become contributors to and sharers in that aspect of their lives.