Title: Union President
Company: RWDSU Local 338, Long Island Federation of Labor
Location: Mineola, New York, United States
John R. Durso, Union President of the RWDSU Local 338 and the Long Island Federation of Labor, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in union leadership and labor.
Earning a diploma from Wantagh High School, Mr. Durso completed a year of college coursework and entered the workforce as a deli clerk for Waldbaum’s supermarket in 1970. He briefly spent time with Hills Supermarket before returning to Waldbaum’s to work as an order selector in their warehouse, where he worked until he was injured on the job and was transferred to an in-store position. In 1984, then president of the Local 338 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Manny Laub, hired Mr. Durso to come work for the Local 338 as a union organizer. Mr. Durso would go on to succeed Manny Laub as president of the Local 338 in 1999 and later accepted the position of president of the Long Island Federation of Labor in 2005.
With the Local 338, Mr. Durso is responsible for overseeing a staff of 70 people that manage 120-130 collective bargaining agreements for employees throughout New York and New Jersey. Doing similar work with the Long Island Federation of Labor, which represents 250,000 union workers across 180 unions in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, his work as president involves representing the organization and its members on a variety of boards including local profit boards, school boards and state program boards. His job is to speak about the labor movement and to advocate for and promote the welfare of union members and their families. He also chairs the pension fund and the benefits fund, which includes all legal services, dental programs and other health care programs.
Alongside his primary responsibilities, Mr. Durso is a member of the Workforce Investment Boards for four towns, one in Suffolk County and three in Nassau County, and chairs the Nassau County Living Wage Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Labor Advisory Board for the town of Hempstead, a board member and labor representative for the Long Island Regional Economic Development Councils, a board member of the Long Island Association, Inc., a former chair of the United Way of Long Island, and on a variety of boards for various educational institutions, including Nassau Community College, the ILR School at Cornell University, the School of Business at Molloy College and Hofstra University. Furthermore, he has spent time as the international vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the vice president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and vice president of the New York City Central Labor Council.
A lifetime member of the NAACP, Mr. Durso considers the highlight of his career to be all the different awards and recognitions he has received for his work. He was presented with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for supporting diversity and immigration by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations in 2001 and the Harry Chapman Memorial Humanitarian Award from the Long Island Association in 2009. Other accolades of his include induction into the Hall of Fame of Long Island Business News and Hofstra University, an award from the March of Dimes, an Environmental Award from the Citizens Campaign Fund for the Environment, the Excalibur Award from the American Cancer Society, the David Award from Networking Magazine, and many more. Looking toward the future, Mr. Durso hopes to continue to work he does and serve on various boards in order to help others.
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