Now is the time to build back union

Published: May 18, 2021

The Biden-Harris Administration’s new infrastructure proposal may be the most significant investment in new American jobs since FDR’s New Deal in the 1930s. The nation’s infrastructure has been left in shambles for far too long due to years of gridlock in Washington, D.C. With a new administration and Congress turning its focus to rebuilding America, now is the time for real action that addresses these needs and helps working families.

The Biden-Harris infrastructure proposal, called the American Jobs Plan, focuses on more than roads and bridges, which may be the first words that come to mind when the term “infrastructure” is mentioned. It also includes modernizing the nation’s rail system to meet passenger rail capacity taken for granted by nations in Europe, and to better compete with China’s ultramodern freight rail system. In addition, the plan would fund the retrofitting of public buildings, including schools and colleges, so that air systems are up-to-date, efficient and safe for occupants in a world where the next pandemic could be right around the corner.

The American Jobs Plan will provide critical investments needed to modernize the nation’s energy delivery systems, including power generation facilities that will employ thousands of sheet metal workers working to ensure the availability of affordable energy for all Americans.

The energy sector is another area that has significant infrastructure needs, as well as pent-up and growing demand for the safe delivery of energy to cities, businesses and homes. America’s current energy infrastructure — including the generation, storage, transmission and distribution of energy — is inadequate to meet our current needs, let alone future demands. The American Jobs Plan will provide critical investments needed to modernize the nation’s energy delivery systems, including power generation facilities that will employ thousands of sheet metal workers working to ensure the availability of affordable energy for all Americans.

Overall, our infrastructure needs are vast and will only continue to grow without decisive action from Washington,D.C.

Due to the Biden-Harris Administration’s support for high labor standards, the American Jobs Plan will also secure a broad pathway to the middle class for hundreds of thousands of Americans, through new union jobs in all sectors of the trades, and by putting existing members to work. It will also ensure that the next generation of American construction workers remain among the best-trained, safest and well-equipped in the world.

This support for strong labor standards shows the Biden-Harris Administration understands that the labor movement is the best avenue to easing pandemic-related job and financial insecurity that has placed a heavy burden on so many working families. For union members, this will be a major employment shot in the arm, with a plethora of new work opportunities in the immediate future — and the kind of jobs that keep members busy for years to come.

The time is now to take action. Contact your Senators and Congresspersons about this important pending infrastructure legislation. What we do today will lay the groundwork for future generations of Americans to compete in a rapidly changing world.

Fraternally,

Joseph Powell
General Secretary-Treasurer