“Local 942 values a quality of life that is enriched by a thriving community, local commerce and economic development. We are proud to partner with the Downtown Association to foster an energetic and attractive downtown that showcases the rich character and history of Fairbanks.”
You’ve seen their stickers on the doors at your favorite eateries; you’ve probably spoken with their members who sing praises of their representation by Local 942. Chances are, someone you know is a member of this long-standing union. And beginning at this month’s Block Party, you’ll have them to thank for their support in the rapidly growing popularity of these downtown events!
Downtown Association is honored by the support from Laborer’s Local 942, a hard-working and reputable local organization, for our Downtown Block Party series! Together, our missions align in successful service to our diverse downtown community, including locals and tourists of all ages and interests!
Please keep reading to learn more about Local 942’s history of representation and service in the Fairbanks community!
You may see Local 942 members helping with traffic control in many community events around town. Pictured here with the mosquito mascot is (L to R) Tim Levit, Ali Fletcher-Nolan, Loki the French Bulldog (honorary member), Jennifer Hansberry and Patrick Robinson.
Laborers’ Local 942: Building Alaska Since 1946
At the turn of the century, the industrial revolution was moving Europe and American societies away from small, locally sourced and produced food and materials, to a capitalistic model that encouraged mass production of clothing, meat, textiles and buildings. A large number of workers was needed to maintain the long hours of operation of new, specialized machinery. These jobs were considered consistent against the largely agrarian and farming communities that were subject to weather and diseases in crops and food, which often threatened the livelihood of families and communities. As mass production evolved, individuals – often immigrants and minorities – took jobs that kept them in poverty, many times for long hours and in unsafe factory conditions, with the hope that consistent work would eventually earn them a living wage for a life they could only dream of.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 inspired many to demand living wages and safe working conditions joining with local unions. Even before this historic event illuminated the need for worker and civil protections, the International Hod Carriers and Building Laborers, later named the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), had already established a charter in 1903. Ethnically diverse and shunned by other crafts, individuals found a niche market of brick and mortar laborers, and united as a construction union. The labor movement was instrumental in backing equal treatment, prohibiting discrimination and allowing for collective bargaining, eventually even in the public sector.
Today, LIUNA represents half a million workers, over 5,000 members throughout Alaska, and Local 942 membership is nearly 1,000 strong in the Interior. The women and men of Local 942 do the hard, dangerous and often dirty work of building our communities as experienced Construction Craft Laborers, public employees, federal sector workers and service contract workers that rely on a diverse set of skills, performed on a wide variety of jobsites. We are your garbage collectors, your transit drivers, your construction crew, your neighbors and your friends. We build roads, bridges, tunnels, and work on demolition and renovation projects. Members assist in the construction and maintenance of power plants and substations, dig trenches for lines, repair roads, and build supporting infrastructure such as oil and gas pipelines. We participate in building this community through volunteering with non-profits and community events. The diverse membership enjoy health, dental and vision insurance plans, a retirement fund, discounts at various locations locally and nationally, access to professional development and debt-free training and education.
Partners with Local 942 know they have the top trained, qualified and competent laborers in the industry when they work with us. Through our collective voice, we raise industry standards, promote quality craftsmanship and rise to protect the rights of all workers. Living by these standards improves the quality of life of our community by increasing wages and educational opportunities, such as our apprenticeship program. As laborers, we take pride in our work, knowing that the end product is built to last. Afterall, we’ve been building Alaska since 1946.