The union is divided into nine regions across North America; these regions are further divided into a total of just over 500 local unions.
The current general president is Terence M. O'Sullivan who was appointed general president in 2000, elected by delegates in 2001, and re-elected in 2006. He did not face an opponent in either election.
On 1 June 2006, O'Sullivan announced that LIUNA will disaffiliate from the AFL-CIO. A previous press release stated that LIUNA will join with the International Union of Operating Engineers in leaving the AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department to form a new organization.
In addition, O'Sullivan has led efforts to put the union on the forefront of the fight for true immigration reform that rewards the contributions of immigrants to the Laborers' Union (about a fourth of members are immigrantsto the U.S. and to the U.S. economy.
At the union's 2006 convention in Las Vegas, NV, delegates passed an historic resolution, mandating resources for organizing and growth that will rise to about $140 million within three years -- the most of any construction union and more than virtually any other union in North America.
20th Century - During the early 20th century, the union achieved considerable wage rises for members in Pittsburgh, New York City, New York and Chicago, and orchestrated strikes in Boston, St. Louis and Philadelphia.
1920 - By 1920, membership had climbed to 96,000. The union backed calls by African American workers to be allowed full and equal status as union members, denying permission for segregated unions to be founded in Kansas City and Cincinnati.
1929 Great Depression to the 1930s - During the Great Depression of the 1930s, membership fell to under 30,000 as more and more lost their jobs, but by 1942, membership had climbed to 200,000 - over half of which left their jobs to serve in World War II.
1950s - In the early 1950s, the union was involved in some of the first worker pension plans in Chicago. 1940s - By the early 1960s, workers in California successfully struck to earn pension rights of their own -membership had now risen to 420,000, and the union renamed itself the Laborers' International Union of America.
1970s and 1980s - In the 70s and 80s, efforts were organized to enable greater rights for Latino laborers, improved education and training of all workers, and to encourage workers to look into the possibly lucrative field of asbestos removal.
1994 - By 1994, the United States Department of State had recognized construction as an apprenticeable occupation. The LIUNA were involved in the reconstruction of Interstate 10 in Los Angeles following an earthquake.