Labor groups are rejoicing in the Biden administrations quick actions, especially on pension relief and talk about a potential infrastructure plan in the near future.
Ohio State Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Mike Knisley gave an update on the 2021 construction year for Ohio, pension relief being included in the COVID-19 relief bill, state and federal infrastructure plans and the need to pass the PRO Act on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
2021 Ohio construction outlook
Coming off of the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction outlook for Ohio is strong.
Knisley said the major cities of Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati will have plenty of work, with smaller cities also seeing a good year ahead as well. In addition to construction of buildings, there is plenty of road and bridge work scheduled for this year.
State and federal infrastructure plans
He said infrastructure will be vital to the construction industry in the coming years. The Biden administration is beginning to discuss ideas for a massive, $3 trillion infrastructure plan. However, a federal infrastructure bill will be difficult to get through Congress, as they are more divided than ever and seldom come together.
On the state level, Knisley said things are lagging. The projected revenue from the increased gas tax is slowly trickling in as Ohioans begin to travel and head back to work. However, he said the state could borrow money in order to fund infrastructure projects while rates are so low.
Passing the PRO Act
Knisley, like others in the labor community, believes the time to pass the PRO Act is now. He said the legislation will provide much needed reforms to outdated labor laws that have very minimal penalties.
The organized labor community has been beaten down by the National Labor Relations Board over the past four years according to Knisley, adding that people deserve a union contract if they want one. It is important for workers to have their wages, benefits and conditions laid out in writing.