May 19, 2014
By Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Members of several trade unions rallied in front of the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, DC on Friday May 16th. Participants gathered to raise awareness of the need to put people to work rebuilding America's infrastructure. The rally formed part of the ongoing activities surrounding Infrastructure Week 2014, a series of events put on by the AFL-CIO, the US Chamber of Commerce, and other labor and business organizations.
“Putting money in roads and bridges is like planting seed corn,” Trumka said. “Investing in good jobs yields a good return. When you put seed in the ground, you get something to harvest. When you put cement in the ground, you get roads. When you put steel in the ground, you get train tracks.” Trumka pointed to a recent American Society of Civil Engineers report that said the country needs to spend $3.6 trillion just to make sure that the current infrastructure in the U.S. doesn't fall apart, with a similar investment needed to create the next generation infrastructure to grow the economy.
America's infrastructure has received a D+ rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and unemployment in the construction industry is higher than the national average. The Obama administration has warned that failure on the part of Congress to address infrastructure funding could cost 700,000 construction jobs. Labor organizations throughout the USA are continuing to push Congress to pass an infrastructure bill by the end of the summer.
"America has roads and bridges in need of repair, and unemployed construction workers in need of work," said Iron Workers General President Walter Wise. "It's not hard to put two and two together."