DeForest, WI – After 48 years as a member of LIUNA, Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council President/Business Manager John Schmitt announced his retirement effective September 1, 2022.


John began his career in 1974 as a Laborer at the Miller Brewery in Milwaukee as a member of LIUNA Local 113.  He became a Business Representative and member of the local union executive board in 1997 and was subsequently elected Business Manager of Local 113 in 2000.  In 2010, he was elected President/Business Manager by the delegates of the Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council.


Mr. Schmitt’s tenure as President/Business Manager came during a tumultuous time for the Wisconsin labor movement that saw the repeal of the state’s prevailing wage laws, banning project labor agreements on public works projects, and the passage of so-called “Right-to-Work.”  Despite these attacks on Wisconsin workers, the Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council, under John’s leadership, continued to grow both in its membership and in market share.


John led collective bargaining negotiations with employer contractor partners on various contracts that were mutually beneficial for labor and management.  As a trustee for health and pension funds, John was responsible for helping grow and strengthen these funds for past, present, and future Laborers.


Additional leadership positions include serving as the co-chair of the Wisconsin Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET), the Wisconsin Laborers’ Apprenticeship & Training Fund, and as the chairman of the Construction Craft Laborers’ State Apprenticeship Committee.  John also sits on the Governor’s Transportation Stakeholder Task Force and on the boards of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO and Transportation Development Association.


Other highlights of John’s leadership were doubling the size of the Wisconsin Laborers’ Training Center in DeForest, as well as helping elect Laborers’ endorsed candidates including Governor Tony Evers in 2018 and President Joe Biden in 2020.


A photo of John Schmitt can be found here.

The Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council is an affiliation of five Laborer local unions, representing nearly 9,000 construction craft laborers throughout Wisconsin.  The Laborers are the most diverse trade in the construction industry servicing employers in transportation infrastructure, building, sewer and water, utility distribution, demolition, asbestos removal, and related sectors.


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