Like millions of immigrants before him, Pawel Gruchacz's story is one of hope, faith, hard work and success. Since coming to United States, from his native Poland, in 1993, Pawel's life is the classic American success story. Immediately after arriving and settling down in New York City, Pawel found work in what at that time was considered “unskilled”, and unsafe labor as an asbestos handler. The work was hard and dangerous and the industry at the time lacked the basis safety standards required to protect the workers. The industry was entirely non-union, the pay substandard, the benefits non-existent.


But that all changed in early 1996 when the Laborers' International Union of North America launched a major organizing campaign in the asbestos industry. The union quickly saw the potential that Pawel processed as a future labor leader and made him one of the first shop stewards of the newly chartered Asbestos, Lead and Hazardous Waste Laborers' Local 78. That position was the first step in a professional career that would lead Pawel to the position he holds today, business manager of Local 78. Along the way he has served as an organizer for both the Local, as well as the lead organizer for the successful campaigns waged by the Laborers Eastern Region Organizing Fund in New Jersey, New York and Delaware.


From 2006 through 2018 Pawel served as secretary-treasurer of Local 78, where he was responsible for overseeing the finances of the multi-million-dollar local union. In 2019 when Local 78's incumbent business manger was removed from office, the International Union again turned to Pawel, appointing him deputy supervisor, in charge of running the day-to-day operations of the local. Once again Pawel rose to the challenge, leading the Local back to stability and strength. In June 2021, his commitment to the diverse membership, coupled with his hard work and honesty was acknowledged and rewarded when Pawel and the Unity Slate he led, were overwhelming elected to a full term in office. Pawel considers it his sacred duty to work to improve the lives of the members he represents, ensuring that they are treated with respect and dignity on the job and in their communities.


Pawel's commitment to the members of his Local is only surpassed by his commitment to his family and the community in which they live. He is an active member of his church, St. Stanislaw Kostka Church. Pawel and his family live on Staten Island, where you can find him on most weekends cheering on his grandson's hockey games.

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