As General President Sellers announced, years of hard work and sacrifices made by National Pension Fund participants, locals and employers have paid off.

In addition to this, the Biden Administration announced the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge in late March. This challenge is a call to action and a set of best practices to assist building owners with reducing risks from airborne viruses and other contaminants.

The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge relies on significant input from SMART and our experts at the National Energy Management Institute (NEMI), who assisted in devising its goals and objectives.

The challenge includes the creation of a clean indoor air action plan, practices for optimizing fresh air ventilation, the enhancement of air filtration and cleaning, and community engagement around the importance of enhanced air ventilation to ensure this issue — and its solution — is prioritized by leaders in the public and private sectors. This ensures the expanded contribution of our signatory contractors employing SMART sheet metal workers to lead this challenge.

As the Biden Administration rolls out the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill, modernizing the prevailing wages attached to these projects will ensure fair wages and protect workers employed in the sheet metal industry.

In early March, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that it was updating its Davis-Bacon rules, which affect members employed in the construction industry — especially those working for employers who compete on publicly funded projects. This is the first time in 40 years the Department of Labor has performed a comprehensive review of these regulations, and it couldn’t come at a better time. As the Biden Administration rolls out the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill, modernizing the prevailing wages attached to these projects will ensure fair wages and protect workers employed in the sheet metal industry. Structural changes to the administration of these new projects are what will make the difference in guaranteeing that not only are they built on time and under budget, but also that unscrupulous employers do not undermine the wages and standards SMART and our signatory employers have spent decades creating.

As you will find within this issue of the Members’ Journal, SMART has also updated our union’s website at www.smart-union.org. The website is all-inclusive and interactive, with landing pages for content and material found nowhere else online — such as an updated Resources section for sheet metal workers, TD material and forms, Canadian resources, an easier-to-use Sheet Metal Job Bank, membership information only available to you, links to fund material, dozens of resource libraries and more. Member information is accessed via a Member Portal and customized to each individual member’s needs and experience. Visit the website at www.smart-union.org and click on the Member Portal to create an account. Instructions for SM and TD members are linked through the QR Code below.

Brothers and sisters, we live in exciting times — we are taking advantage of new technologies to update our services to you. Make sure you continue to revisit the Member Portal, as we will update information there with breaking news and the latest resources.

Fraternally,

Joseph Powell

SMART General Secretary Treasurer

After years of false starts, President Biden signed America’s most impactful infrastructure bill in its history.

Delivered on bipartisan votes in both the Senate and House of Representatives, the Infrastructure Bill will provide $1.2 Trillion in infrastructure funding over the next five years. To highlight the importance of SMART members, and the labor movement in this bill’s passage and our importance in rebuilding and transporting people and goods in America, the President invited and spoke with 5 rank and file SMART members from the transportation and sheet metal industries who joined me at the signing ceremony. It was a proud and historic day which symbolically kicked off years of new work opportunities and revitalized transportation network for future Americans.

The bill can create jobs for existing SMART members and spur new union jobs, which will help us grow the power of union.

The bill includes over $1 billion in funding for Indoor Air Quality for schools along with commercial and residential buildings that can be used for badly needed HVAC upgrades.  There is also funding for thousands of electric school buses to help school districts across the country buy clean, American-made, zero emission buses that will create more jobs for SMART members employed not only in their production, but also in their operation.

The bill includes over $1 billion in funding for Indoor Air Quality for schools along with commercial and residential buildings that can be used for badly needed HVAC upgrades. 

The legislation also invests $25 billion in airport and $17 billion in port infrastructure a to not only address repair and maintenance backlogs, but invest in keeping America’s supply chain moving to ensure goods are delivered with speed and efficiency to market. 

And all of this will be done with funding conditional on the use of American made products and material – an important diversion from the past, where government purchases and toothless Buy America enforcement undermined American workers and jobs.

SMART members in the transportation industry are also one of the key winners, with Amtrak’s annual appropriations doubled along with an additional $3 billion for badly needed railroad crossings; $36 billion for Regional Passenger Rail, $16 Billion for Amtrak’s National Network, and important progress on bus and transit operator safety with public transportation agencies ordered to enhance safety plans, safety training, and procedures to reduce assaults on vehicle operators.

Brothers and sisters, this has been a long time coming.  We have seen a tidal wave of the Biden Administration  pro-labor and pro-worker developments in the past year.  From the passage of the Infrastructure and Investment Act, to the American Rescue Plan to critical pension relief and to all the progress made in between, America’s workers have been the direct beneficiaries of the change that has come to Washington.  We accomplished this because we stood together for bread and butter working family issues.

There is still much work to be done.  We must work together at the federal, state and local level to make sure the promise of the Infrastructure and Investment Act is realized in our communities. This means we’ll need to work with our policy makers on implementation to help make sure the funding comes to truly create good, union jobs.

Let’s continue to stand together as we work to expand on the progress made through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.  We still have the chance to add millions of new sheet metal  and transportation hours with the addition of thousands of jobs through the Build Back Better Act along with critical labor law reform that is long overdue.  Text the word PASS to 67336 (message and data rates may apply) to let your Senators know that now is the time to continue to put the needs of working families first by passing the budget reconciliation bill.

Thank you and please stay safe!

Fraternally,

SMART General President Joseph Sellers, Jr.