Stories about the 1 percent, Wall Street and big business keeping workers down have dominated the news narrative for quite some time. Too often, we don’t hear about how business owners and leaders are giving back to the communities in which we, as union members, live and work.
The Painters & Allied Trades Labor Management Cooperation Initiative (LMCI) represents over 7,000 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades employers in North America. Each day, the LMCI works to accomplish its mission to provide resources to those employers and IUPAT local leaders to expand the market share of union jobs and grow union worker membership. However, it is also working on behalf of the employers to do something much more – give back to local communities and the causes that support a better life for those who live in them.
In 2015 alone, the LMCI is scheduled to give over $60,000 to community initiatives throughout North America. Programs that include LAANE, founded in 1993 and based in Los Angeles, this organization is recognized as a “national leader in the effort to address the challenges of working poverty, inadequate health care and polluted communities.” LAANE reports that it has improved the lives of more than 350,000 working men and women in its work for social justice and change.
Another organization the LMCI has supported this year is the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. This nonprofit group offers scholarships for the surviving children of fallen members of the Special Operations Forces; provides family and educational counseling; and financial grants to severely wounded Special Operations Forces members.
The First Annual Puerto Rican Hispanic Business Summit, held on June 12 of this year, was an event supported by the LMCI and IUPAT District Council 9. Its goal was to provide a venue for small business owners in the New York City area the opportunity to network with and learn from accomplished business leaders, government officials and other key experts in their industries with the idea to grow their own businesses, and increase work opportunities for local community members.
The Painters & Allied Trades LMCI will continue to be a good neighbor in 2016, and beyond, as it works to grow the union workforce, market share and the communities in which we all live and work.