Arthur A. Coia was born on March 21,1943 in the Italian section of Charles Street, Providence, Rhode Island graduating from LaSalle Academy, Providence College, and Boston University Law School. He is a founding partner with over 40 years of experience in the New England-based law firm of Coia and Lepore, LTD. specializing in labor law, labor management cooperation, health care reform, finance, business analysis, and human resource management.
In 1993, Arthur was elected General President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). A driving force behind a new generation of labor leaders, he was elected for a second term in 1996 and remained President until his retirement in 2000. His union is an 850,000-member organization, making it one of the largest and most diverse Unions within the AFL-CIO. LIUNA represents workers in construction, hazardous waste remediation, health care, food service, maintenance, state and municipal government, and the U.S. Postal Service.
Through Coia’s efforts, LIUNA rose to the forefront of the labor movement as a result of innovative training programs, organizing, grassroots political activities, and initiatives in labor-management cooperation. During his administration, the organization was commended by the U.S. Department of Labor for bringing the Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund to a new level; training over 50,000 men and women annually.
As a former vice president of the AFL-CIO, serving on its executive board and chairing its prestigious Organizing Department, Arthur also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Labor Rights Education and Research Fund (ILRERF) pursuing legislative and other strategies to uplift the labor standards and conditions of workers throughout the world.
Mr. Coia has received numerous awards from labor, management, charitable and community organizations. One of the most endearing came in 1987, when he and his father, Arthur E. Coia received the “Father and Son Award” from the National Italian American Foundation.
In 1993, Arthur established the Arthur E. Coia Scholarship and Education Fund to benefit children of union members in the New England area who demonstrate academic excellence and financial need. Named in honor of his father, the late Arthur E. Coia, former General Secretary-Treasurer of the LIUNA, the fund assists several New England schools, with Providence College the primary beneficiary. In 2001, he founded The Arthur Coia Group, a labor relations, management-consulting firm with its principal office in Delray Beach, Florida.
Arthur is married to the former Joanne Cicccia. They have two married children, daughter Christen A. Corrente, son Arthur E. Coia, II, and four grandchildren.