Edison Severino is the Business Manager of Local 78 –Asbestos, Lead and Hazardous Waste Laborers. Mr. Severino got his start in the industry working as an asbestos handler in the early 1990s. In the winter of 1995, tired of the low wages, unsafe conditions and the general disrespect under which he and his colleagues were forced to work, he jumped at the chance to join the large-scale campaign to organize asbestos workers, launched by the
Laborers International Union of North America. After the campaign came to a successful end, and the Union was formed in 1996, Mr. Severino began working as a Business Agent, organizing new contractors and workers and enforcing the collective bargaining agreement.
Mr. Severino was elected Business Manager in 2004. The Local had 1,900 members, and a 65% market share. Today, the Local consists of 4,000 members, and has organized upwards of 90% of the market. In addition, the Local has been given jurisdiction in New Jersey, and can boast of covering work from Montauk Point to Cape May. Mr. Severino remains committed to and tirelessly works towards the vision of an economy in which every worker is afforded the respect and wellbeing that comes with a union job. Mr. Severino is married to his teenage love, Jackie. They have two daughters, Natalie and Nairobi, and a son, Steven Edison.