Steelworkers push infrastructure issue in 2016 elections

The United Steelworkers Union (USW) have taken up the issue of rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure as their central issue in the national elections and is taking numerous steps to assure that the issue is up-front In the campaign.

At a huge rally immediately after the Democratic Party convention, USW President Leo Gerard introduced Hillary Clinton stating, “We need a president who will rebuild our nation’s manufacturing base and push back against those who are destroying our jobs.  We need a president who understands that our infrastructure is critical, but that it is too old & too frail, crumbling beneath our feet, who’ll fight like there’s no tomorrow to rebuild our infrastructure and create millions of new jobs.”

For her part, Clinton said, “In my first 100 days I’ll work to pass a comprehensive package to create millions of new jobs rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.  We will create a national infrastructure bank, using private and public funds and putting tens of millions of manufacturing workers back to work.”

In June,  the USW, along with the Utility Workers Union, Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation, joined together at the national Blue/Green Alliance convention to push for a national jobs bill to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure with the use of green energy. The bill would provide jobs for 13 million workers.

The Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees also took up the infrastructure issue at its June national board meeting.  SOAR groups, working with the USW and organized labor, are working to popularize the fight to rebuild the nation and get folks back to work.   “SOAR is fully committed to this fight,” stated Jim Centner, the USW’s director of SOAR.  “Highways, electric grid and our water systems are crumbling, and must be addressed.  Rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure will produce millions of good paying jobs, strengthen our economy and help restore our member’s retirement security.”

“This is a key issue for steelworkers, their families and communities, devastated by plant closings,” according to Scott Marshall, Illinois SOAR Director.  “A comprehensive federal plan to rebuild our infrastructure will put millions back to work making steel to repair bridges, highways, transport systems, gas lines and electric grid.  It’ll make our country safer, more energy efficient and greatly strengthen our economy. Besides all that,” Marshall said, “this fight can help Hillary Clinton win and expose Trump’s phony lies about ‘jobs!'”

Photo: Wikipedia (CC)


Bruce Bostick
Bruce Bostick

Bruce Bostick is a retired steelworker and leader in Ohio Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees.