United Steel Workers Worry: Federal Commitment in Infrastructure Plan is Insufficient

United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today on the release of the Trump administration’s Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America:

“Our nation is long overdue in effectively addressing the significant infrastructure needs and lapses of our critical energy, water and transportation systems. The backlog of maintenance and lack of investment has now ballooned to more than $2 trillion, according to most recent reports.

“While the White House has broken ground on a long-needed discussion, the USW sees multiple issues with various components of the administration’s outline. We need to be honest about the federal commitment provided in the proposal; $200 billion spread over 10 years is insufficient given the decades of deferred maintenance in the country. The most recent estimate by the American Society of Civil Engineers puts the nation’s backlog of bridge rehabilitation needs at $123 billion alone.

“American manufacturing and manufacturing workers play a key role in ensuring the strength and viability of our country’s infrastructure. The lack of detail on maintaining long-standing Buy American preferences is alarming for the USW.

“Additionally, privatization of large utility assets like Bonneville Power Administration or the Tennessee Valley Authority has the potential to negatively affect power prices for literally millions of Americans and their employers.

“Now the ball is in Congress’ court. They will be central to creating jobs and moving our country’s infrastructure systems into the 21st century. Our union will engage leaders in the House and Senate to find a path forward that ensures shared prosperity and a better deal for American workers.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: www.usw.org