the labor institute

Who We Are


Founded in 1976 by David Gordon and Les Leopold with assistance from Tony Mazzocchi. The Labor Institute provides labor unions and community groups with education on health and safety, the environment and the economy. Our goal is to empower working people with information on how best to create a more healthful and just economy. Our guiding principles and our programs grow from the work of Tony Mazzocchi (1926-2002), the labor leader who helped invent the modern occupational health and safety movement and was a leader in the drive to create common cause between the labor and environmental movements.

The Labor Institute is a founding partner of the Tony Mazzocchi Center for Health, Safety and Environmental Education, (TMC) along with the United Steelworkers of America, and the Communications Workers of America. The Labor Institute partners with the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Workers Justice Project, New Labor, Make The Road, Wind of the Spirit, and other worker centers to help build health & safety infrastructure and strategies with support from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, Worker Education Training Program and New York State Hazard Abatement Board.  



The Labor Institute also encourages the formation and growth of labor-environmental alliances. Labor Institute staff, working through the Public Health Institute, provided critical assistance to the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club in the launch and development of the BlueGreen Alliance. Today, BGA is a national coalition of 14 of the country’s largest unions and environmental organizations, representing 15 million Americans.